One in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. There are different types of skin cancers with different treatment options.
There are three broad categories of skin cancer:
In almost all cases, screening for skin cancer is done through visual examination. Doctors recommend a regular self-exam to look for signs of skin cancer (such as moles that appear or change size or shape). However, self-screening has not been shown to be as effective against melanoma.
Unusual changes in your skin or development of lesions should prompt you to see a dermatologist or other physician. They will closely examine all areas of concern. When indicated, biopsies for histological exam are taken for diagnostic purpose.
Treatment options should always be discussed in detail with a physician once a firm diagnosis has been made. Treatment of skin cancers is most often performed in a physician’s office. Choice of treatment is based on the type, size, location, and depth of the tumor, the patient’s age and general health, factoring in the need to maintain form and function of the affected area. The various treatment options are performed with a local anesthetic. Pain or discomfort during and after the procedures is usually minimal.
Skin cancers are often treated in a staged fashion. The intention of stage one is to complete tumor removal, confirmed by histopathology. Stage two might be considered as the reconstructive stage taking function and aesthetic concerns into account.
If you have questions about the various types of skin cancers and how Virginia ENT can assist with treatment and/or reconstruction, contact us to request an appointment.