SURGICAL SKIN CANCER REMOVAL
Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States? Over a million new cases are diagnosed each year. People in the Birmingham, Alabama area are exposed to considerably more ultraviolet radiation than people in most parts of the country. This has resulted in a large number of individuals in Alabama developing skin cancers or precancerous growths.
The good news is that skin cancer is very treatable. Nearly all cases are curable with early detection. Cahaba Dermatology is dedicated to the fight against all skin cancers including basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and malignant melanomas. Our patients can rest assured they will get the best treatment available. From skin screenings to treatments, including surgery to remove cancer tissue, Cahaba Dermatology strives to provide the best treatment possible. And surgery is not the only cancer treatment we offer. We also provide patients with Cryotherapy (freezing), Immunotherapy, and Photodynamics.
Contact us for help. Give us a call or use the link at the top of this site to book an appointment. We want to make sure you get the screening and treatment that is right for you. We accept most major insurance plans in both the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Alabama areas.
Read on to learn more about how to examine your skin, the different types of skin cancer, the types of skin cancer treatments we offer, and if needed, how we can perform surgery to remove cancerous tissue.
HOW TO CHECK YOUR SKIN AT HOME
Also called “malignant melanoma,” this skin cancer which originates from the pigment cells in the skin is easily treated when it is caught early but can be deadly when diagnosis and treatment has been delayed. If you have many moles or a family history of melanoma, these cancers can be caught early by regular skin checks by your dermatologist, as well as monthly self-examinations at home
A great way to do a basic at home skin check is to use the ABCDE criteria. The following criteria is found on skincancer.org.
Asymmetry | one half is unlike the other
Border | irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border
Color | varied from one area to another; shades of tan and brown, black; sometime white, red or blue
Diameter | while melanomas are usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, they can be smaller
Evolving | a mole or skin lesion that look different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color
We are experts in the management of melanoma, including surgical removal and wound reconstruction. Most melanomas can be removed via a surgical excision.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common cancer in humans and is caused by lifelong sun-exposure, fair skin, and hereditary disposition. While rarely life-threatening, if untreated these tumors continue to grow larger and deeper, and can eventually invade into important structures such as nerves, blood vessels, and even bone.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is a common skin cancer. It arises from the squamous cells which form most of the top layer of the skin. Like basal cell carcinoma, it is most commonly found in sun-exposed sites, but can arise in any location of the body.
Squamous cell carcinoma has a low risk of spreading to other areas of the body, however certain cases have a slightly higher risk. The treatment is similar to the treatment of basal cell carcinoma. Most Squamous Cell Carcinomas may be removed via a surgical excision.
How is the Surgical Excision of Skin Cancer Performed?
Surgical excision is the most effective treatment for skin cancer. It offers results that are both medically and cosmetically excellent.
Technique: The physician begins by outlining the tumor with a marking pen. A “safety margin” of healthy-looking tissue will be included, because it is not possible to determine with the naked eye how far microscopic strands of tumor may have reached. The extended line of excision is drawn, so the skin may be sewn back together.
The physician will administer a local anesthetic, and then cut along the lines that were drawn. The entire procedure takes about thirty minutes for smaller lesions.
The tissue sample will be sent to a lab to see if any of the “safety margin” has been invaded by skin cancer. If this is the case, it is assumed that the cancer is still present, and additional surgery is required.
The cure rate following excision is more than 90%, depending on the site, size, and pattern of the tumor. Wounds heal rapidly. Scarring depends on many factors, including the placement of the tumor and the patient’s care of the wound afterwards.
Without early detection and treatment, the outcome is not as favorable. Skin cancer can grow deeply. At Cahaba Dermatology, we know that proper treatment is the key in the battle against malignant melanomas, basal cell carcinomas, and squamous cell carcinomas.
Contact us for help. Give us a call or use the link at the top of this site to book an appointment with us. We want to make sure you get the screening and treatment that is right for you. Cahaba Dermatology is your source for excellence in skin cancer treatment.