Skin Cancer Diagnosis
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States with a million new cases yearly. The three major types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BBC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. More than 95% of skin cancer are non-melanoma type (SCC, BCC) and have a 95% cure rate when detected early and treated appropriately. Melanoma detected and treated before it spreads to lymph nodes has a five-year survival of 98%.
Skin cancer most commonly occurs on sun-exposed areas. Some features of skin cancer are:
- Pearly or waxy bump
- Firm red scaly or crusted lesion
- An easily bleeding or changing lesion
- An irregular brown lesion with features of A,B,C,D,E's as described for atypical moles. (under Medical category)
Yearly full body exams are highly recommended for early detection and high cure rates.
Skin Cancer Treatment
There are options for skin cancer treatment depending on the type, the location and the nature of the skin cancer. Skin Wellness Center is a full service skin cancer facility and offers appropriate treatment options. Removal of skin cancer is warranted for cure, but not all skin cancers need extensive surgical procedures for adequate treatment. Some superficial types of skin cancer can be treated with topical creams as an option to surgical removal. Dr. Haynes is a skilled and experienced cutaneous surgeon and performs surgeries in our office rather than relocating to a surgery center. More complex removals of non-melanoma skin cancer can be done with frozen sections (Moh's surgery) and are coordinated with a dermatopathologist on site for your convenience. Melanoma skin cancer will be treated surgically according to current guidelines and coordinated care will be arranged when indicated. The approach and options for appropriate skin cancer treatment are always offered at the Skin Wellness Center.
Precancers (Actinic Keratoses)
Actinic keratosis, or solar keratosis, are precancerous lesions commonly found on skin with excessive sun exposure. These lesions are typically multiple and may evolve into squamous cell carcinoma. They are usually scaly, rough and may be discolored and sensitive. Multiple therapeutic options are available for treatment. Cryotherapy or freezing is the mainstay of treatment. There are multiple topical agents that are effective. Photodynamic therapy with Levulan is offered at Skin Wellness Center. We are very experienced with this highly beneficial treatment that is not offered at all skin care facilities. Unique to SWC is the Levulan activation process is carried out not only with a blue LED light but combined with red LED as well to give optimal results. Your modality of treatment will be decided according to what will give the best results and fits into your lifestyle.