Skin Cancer Signs
The main cause of skin cancer is overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays. As such, this cancer is normally found on areas that receive a great deal of sun exposure such as the face, neck, and hands. While skin cancer is more common in these areas, it can actually appear anywhere on the body. Although skin cancer affects people of all ages, Caucasians are more likely to develop this disease than people with darker skin. This condition also runs in families, so those with an immediate family member who has previously been diagnosed with skin cancer are more likely to develop it.
Some signs that an individual may have a cancerous growth include moles that change in appearance or bleed. Hard bumps with a waxy appearance or crust-like covering can also be signs of skin cancer. Firm nodules that have a red tip or center are also indicators of skin cancer. People who notice these types of lesions growing on their skin should immediately visit Dr. Gross.
Skin Cancer Treatments
Skin Cancer Treatment Methods
There are four different treatment methods used in treating skin cancers. Of course, we use the most conservative but effective approach in all treatments. Every patient’s case is unique; therefore treatment options will depend on the patient and the severity of the skin cancer(s).
- Topical treatment: Aldara (imiquimod), Efudex, 5-FU (5-flurourocil), Solaraze- these are the most common topical treatments available. These are prescribed topical medications to be applied by the patient at home. The treatment protocols vary, but usually take 3-6 weeks to complete. This treatment is mainly prescribed in the winter months due to sensitivity to the sun and downtime needed to achieve effective results.
- ED&C (electrodessication and curettage): Other known as the scrape and burn technique – this surgical treatment is an acceptable and effective treatment that usually does not limit your activity level. The wound does takes longer to heal than an excision because it is an “open” wound and can leave a small white circular scar.
- Surgical Excision– complete removal with margin control—usually requires sutures and limits activity level. Most patients will need to come back to have the sutures removed.
- MOHS– Mohs is a specialized micrographic skin cancer surgery performed by dermatologists that are specially trained in Mohs surgery. This surgical technique is not indicated for all skin cancers. Mohs is a tissue sparing procedure. Mohs surgery is usually indicated for delicate areas such as the eyes, lips, ears, and scalp. Areas or tumors that have a high recurrence rate, or will need special reconstruction. Mohs was founded by Dr. Fredric Mohs. This procedure has the highest cure rate out of all the treatments noted for skin cancer because they take tiny pieces of tissue from the area (called stages) and process the tissue and look at it under the microscope. This process is repeated until all the cancer/tumor is gone. Mohs surgery is not performed at Georgia Dermatology. A patient is referred out to a local Mohs surgeon.
Georgia Dermatology Center Serves Patients Needing Skin Cancer Treatment
Skin cancer affects a number of people throughout north Georgia and surrounding cities of Johns Creek, Milton, Suwanee, Dahlonega, Roswell and Sandy Springs. Their double board certified physician, Alexander Gross, has extensive experience treating all forms of skin cancer whether it is melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, or squamous cell carcinoma. Be sure to schedule your annual body skin check with Dr. Gross, Kristin Gregory or H.A. Sanders to ensure your skin’s health.