Here is a common scenario that many people at some point in their lives will experience: you’ve noticed a funny looking beauty mark or mole somewhere on your body. You have a moment of trying to remember how long it has been there. Then you really look at it, inspecting it for signs of something amiss. Does it seem more raised than it was? Is it misshapen? Does it look different from when you first noticed it last month? Maybe you’ve already lived through something like this. Of course, the question that’s lingering in the back of your mind is “Could this be skin cancer?”
Hopefully, it isn’t. But, even if you feel like the statistics are in your favor that it’s not, you should contact your dermatologist. Skin cancer affects more people than you may realize and while you might be told it’s just a mole, there is a chance that it is more than that. Early intervention is key to successful treatment.
While only a dermatologist can tell you what exactly is going on with your skin, it’s important to be informed about what to expect and what to look for. It may convince you to make an appointment for a consultation sooner rather than later. Here are some facts you should know about skin cancer and the treatments available to combat it.
When talking about skin cancer, it’s important to look at some key statistics as well as the sub-types of skin cancer. The three main types of skin cancer are Basal cell carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer and is often found on the chest, arms, and face because of their near constant exposure to the sun. It won’t usually spread to other body parts, but it’s still serious and needs to be treated thoroughly. Squamous cell carcinoma is related to sun exposure as well, but is often found in people who are exposed very frequently to the sun due to lifestyle. It’s less common than Basal cell carcinoma and often affects the arms and face. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. While it’s rarer than the other two, it’s common enough that you should be aware of it. Though it has a good cure rate, it requires early intervention. Melanoma can quickly travel to the lymph nodes and organs if left alone.
People who live past the age of 65 have a 40 to 50% chance of having Basal cell or Squamous cell carcinomas at some point in their lives. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer. It is by far the most common type of cancer and is actually more common than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers combined. Prognosis is excellent as long as treatment is sought early.
While not every incidence of skin cancer has one root cause (after all, while rare, small children can develop skin cancer) the vast majority of skin cancer is related to sun exposure. Regularly using sunscreen can cut the risk of developing skin cancer in half. If you’re regularly in the sun without using any kind of sunscreen, you are putting yourself at unnecessary risk. The more incidences of sunburn you experience, the higher the chances of developing skin cancer.
At Dermatology of Boca, Dr. Fromowitz will employ several methods to treat your skin cancer depending on your individual case. One such treatment option is Mohs surgery. This very precise micrographic surgery progressively removes cancerous skin tissue until there is none left while leaving healthy surrounding tissue intact as much as possible. Dr. Megan Jack, Dermatology of Boca’s certified board plastic surgeon, is available to assist in minimizing any scarring that occurs as a result of your skin cancer treatment.
Another cutting edge treatment that may be employed is SRT-100. Superficial Radiation Therapy (SRT) is a focused, low dose of radiation used to target Basal cell carcinoma and Squamous cell carcinoma. It penetrates a shallow portion of your tissue to preserve healthy cells while still targeting the cancer cells. If a good candidate for SRT, you can avoid the more invasive Mohs surgery that has the potential to cause some scarring and requires a longer period of recovery.
Don’t risk it. If you’ve noticed something unusual on your skin, you owe it to yourself to get it checked out by a doctor. Contact us today. Dr. Fromowitz and the team at Dermatology of Boca are here to provide the kind of comfortable but professional treatment you deserve during this potentially stressful time of your life. Choose a doctor with the experience to effectively treat your skin cancer while using the latest technological advancements to not only help you stay healthy but look your best. Schedule a consultation today and start getting some peace of mind.