If a skin biopsy reveals cancer, the dermatologist may choose from an array of medical and surgical treatment procedures depending upon the type of cancer, its size and location, and the needs of the individual.
Dermatologic surgical treatments include:
- Surgical excision – Mohs Micrographic surgery (a special procedure that removes the tumor while sparing as much normal skin as possible
- Electrodessication and Curettage – Alternately scraping and burning the tumor
- Cryosurgery – Freezing using liquid nitrogen
- Laser Surgery
Other dermatologic treatments include radiation therapy and photodynamic therapy (a chemical applied to the skin is exposed to a light source). Topical chemotherapy products may also be used.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT
Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, including melanoma. You can have fun in the sun and decrease your risk of skin cancer. Here’s how to be sun smart:
- Generously apply a broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 to all exposed skin. “Broad-spectrum” provides protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Re-apply approximately every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
- Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, when possible.
- Seek shade when appropriate, remember that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 am and 4 pm. IF your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade.
- Protect children from sun exposure by playing in the shade, using protective clothing, and applying sunscreen.
- Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun which can increase your change of sunburn.
- Get Vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that may include vitamin supplements. Don’t seek the sun.
- Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, consider using a sunless self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
- Check your birthday suit on your birthday. If you notice anything, changing, growing, or bleeding on your skin, see a dermatologist. Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early.
Early detection and treatment is key to surviving melanoma. It is beneficial to get assistance from a partner in performing skin self-exams. Get familiar with your skin and your own pattern moles, freckles, and “beauty marks.” Make sure to look at your entire body every month or two. Consult a dermatologist promptly if any changes are noticed.
- Examine body front and back in mirror, then right and left sides, arms raised.
- Bend elbows, look carefully at forearms, back of upper arms, and palms.
- Look at back of legs and feet, spaces between toes, and soles.
- Examine back of neck and scalp with a hand mirror. Part hair and lift.
- Finally, check back and buttocks with a hand mirror.
Get the best skin cancer treatment with Dr. Feinstein.
Call us at 1.888.357.DERM to schedule an appointment or