Skin Cancer & Mohs Surgery
Overview of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is now the most common cancer that affects humans. It is estimated that one in five people will develop skin cancer during their lifetime in certain parts of North America.
Skin cancers are generally grouped as non-melanoma and melanoma. Non-melanomas include the common basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These tumors usually present as non-healing sores on the skin that never heal. These types of cancer can cause significant disfigurement by destroying local tissues, and can occasionally metastasize and spread to other organs in the body.
Melanoma is a more aggressive malignant growth that metastasizes quickly without treatment. Melanomas usually appear as dark moles with unusual borders, multiple colors, or large size. A melanoma can also bleed or get sore and resist healing. Anyone – every ethnic background, both genders, all ages – can get skin cancer, but some factors increase your risk:
- Excessive sun exposure – Tanning (outside or in a bed), and repeated or severe sunburns increase your risk of skin cancer.
- Heredity – Predisposition indicated by a large number of moles, a fair complexion, freckles, red hair, or other family members with skin cancer.
- Medical conditions – Patients with suppressed immune systems such as solid organ transplant patients are at increased risk. About 70 percent of transplant patients will develop some form of skin cancer because of the immunosuppressive medications given.
- Environment – An outdoor occupation, a job, activity or situation that exposes you to excess sunlight or other types of radiation.
If you are concerned about the condition of your skin, or if you simply want to learn more about treatment and prevention of skin cancer, make a visit to your dermatologist the first stop.
The doctor will conduct a thorough examination and interview to determine your risk factors and identify potential cancers on your skin. You’ll get straight answers about today’s most advanced treatment options such as Mohs surgery, skin surveillance, and mole mapping. You’ll hear good advice on prevention through sun protection.
Skin cancer is real, skin cancer is common, and skin cancer is serious. Call Sanova Dermatology today for a consultation.