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Skin Cancer Removal

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and involves abnormal growths of skin cells that can form anywhere on the body, but most frequently appear on skin that is exposed to the sun. There are more than a million new cases of skin cancer in the US each year. Although most cases of skin cancer can be successfully treated, it is still important to keep skin safe and healthy and try to prevent this disease.

There are three major types of skin cancer that affect associated layers of the skin. These major types are:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma affects the squamous cells, which are just below the outer surface of the skin and serve as the inner lining.
  • Basal cell carcinoma affects the basal cells, which lay under the squamous cells and produce new skin cells.
  • Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and affects the melanocytes, which produce melanin.

Causes

Everyday, skin cells die and new ones form to replace them in a process controlled by DNA. Skin cancer can form when this process does not work properly because of damage to DNA. New cells may form when they are not needed or older cells may not die. This can cause a growth of tissue known as a tumor. DNA damage is often a result of ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or tanning lamps. Since skin cancer can sometimes affect areas not exposed to the sun, heredity may also be a factor.

Certain factors, such as fair skin, moles, a weakened immune system and age, can also increase the risk of skin cancer.

Signs and Symptoms

Skin cancer can often be identified as a new or changed growth on the skin that may often occur on the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms, hands or legs. The appearance of the growth depends on the type of cancer, but can appear as:

  • Pearly or waxy bump
  • Flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesion
  • Firm, red nodule
  • Crusted, flat lesion
  • Large brown spot with darker speckles
  • Mole that changes shape or color
  • Shiny, firm bumps

Diagnosis

It is important to see your doctor if you notice any skin changes. Early detection is valuable in successfully treating skin cancer. Regular full body screening is recommended as well. A biopsy is performed to properly diagnose suspected cancerous growths.

Treatment

Treatment for skin cancer depends on the type, size and location of the tumor. Most options remove the entire growth and are usually effective. Removal procedures are usually simple and require only a local anesthetic in an outpatient setting. Some of the treatment options for skin cancer include:

  • Freezing – also known as cryosurgery, kills tissue by freezing them with liquid nitrogen
  • Excision – the abnormal tissue, as well as some surrounding healthy tissue, is cut out of the skin
  • Laser therapy – destroys cancerous growths with little damage to surrounding tissue and few side effects
  • Mohs surgery – removes larger skin growths layer by layer until no abnormal cells remain to prevent damage to healthy skin
  • Chemotherapy – uses drugs to kill cancer, may be applied through creams or lotions for top layer tumors

Other treatment options are also available, including new methods that are currently being studied.

Although most treatment for skin cancer is successful, new tumors can still form. It is important to practice preventive measures and see your doctor on a regular basis. You can also perform self skin checks to spot any changes as soon as possible.

Implant Recall 2019

As reported in the news, textured breast implants have been associated with a rare type of lymphoma (cancer of the immune system) called Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). This lymphoma is so rare that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recommend that textured implants be removed or replaced in those without symptoms of BIA-ALCL.

Learn More

Coronavirus (COVID-19)- A message from Michael Nagy, MD FACS

During this time of uncertainty and stress as we face this new health threat, I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to our patients to hopefully offer you some reassurance that here at Plastic Surgery of the Face & Body your comfort and safety is our utmost concern and priority. As a physician, I am constantly receiving and reviewing information as it comes out daily from the CDC as well as state and local agencies regarding COVID-19. We have many safeguards in place that any good medical practice should have to ensure the safety of not just our patients but our employees, and will remain diligent to continue these practices. At the same time, we kindly ask that if you are not feeling well to please reschedule your appointment. We will make every effort to accommodate you with rescheduling at a convenient time. We all must do our part to protect not only ourselves, but those around us as well. With due diligence, we will get through this together.

In good health,
Michael Nagy MD and Staff