Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and people of all races are susceptible to skin cancer. There are several different types of skin cancer, including squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), basal cell carcinoma (BCC), and melanoma. The most common forms of skin cancer are SCC and BCC, but melanoma is the deadliest. Regular self-skin exams and a yearly examination by a dermatologist help you detect skin cancers early and treat them effectively.
While some skin lesions are benign, a correct diagnosis is important. The plethora of dermatologic conditions makes a correct diagnosis challenging. To combat this, our staff approaches the evaluation of the lesion in a systematic way. In addition to the physical characteristics of the lesion, the patient’s demographics, presence of associated symptoms, related systemic disorders, and location and growth patterns of the lesion all give clues to adequately diagnose and surgically treat both benign and malignant lesions.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment that uses photosensitizing agents along with light to kill cancer cells. The agents work after they have been activated by certain kinds of light. Depending on the part of the body being treated, the photosensitizing agent is either put into the bloodstream through a vein or put on the skin. Studies have shown that PDT can work as well as surgery or radiation therapy in treating certain kinds of cancers and pre-cancers.
A biopsy of skin is the first step one should take with a suspected skin cancer and many other skin lesions. Identification of the type of skin tumor or lesion is crucial for proper treatment and is most effectively performed by a dermatopathologist. A dermatopathologist is a pathologist who has specialized training in skin disease and tumor identification. The best intervention for skin cancer is early detection and treatment when the cancer is small and localized. Contact Regional Dermatology to schedule your consultation today.