For every three cancers diagnosed in the U.S. one will be skin cancer, estimated to be over 700,000 cases. Summer present the greatest risk as the the sun more direct, there are more hours of sun and people tend to spend more time outside.
One element of relief in these numbers is that the most common skin cancers are more than 95% curable when detected and treated early. Most skin cancers are preventable by protecting your skin from the sun.
Dr. Blumenstrauch, as a Mohs College Surgeon, has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of all types of skin cancer and precancerous conditions.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer. Despite it’s fear aspect, there are a couple of pluses with skin cancer:
There are three major kinds of skin cancer:
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common. BCC will usually begin on sun exposed areas and manifest as a small, round, raised, red spot. If detected early the chances of cure are good. If a BCC is left untreated it tends to grow in a very destructive and disfiguring way.
Warning Signs of BCC
Smooth, pink bumps with a shiny appearance that will develop a crust, then ulcerate, and begin to bleed.
Mostly seen on the head, neck and hands.
Who’s at risk for BCC?
Any ethnic background and any age can develop basal cell carcinoma, but the vast majority of people with BCC skin cancer are Caucasian and middle-aged or elderly. More than 99% of people with basal cell carcinoma are white, and over 95% are aged between 40 and 80 years old. Men and women are affected nearly equally. Sun exposure plays an integral role in the development of basal cell carcinoma. People living in sunny climates or who spend time outside with work or sports are more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.
What are the treatments for Basal Cell Skin Cancer?
In addition to the treatments noted below for SCC, there are other treatments for BCC Skin Cancer. These include:
The second most common skin cancer is Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Mostly found on sun exposed skin, it is a slow-growing cancer which tends to spread. SCC is closely related to actinic keratosis, often referred to as precancer. Early detection improves the rate of cure..
Warning Signs of SCC
Raised, scaly, pink, growths that resemble warts. SCCs ulcerate as they grow.
What types of treatments are used for Squamous Cell Skin Cancer?
Treatments for Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Correct diagnosis is a first step. This is done by biopsy of the lesion. A biopsy is usually a quick and simple procedure:
If caught early and treated appropriately, squamous cell carcinomas generally have a good prognosis.
Treatment of squamous cell carcinoma that have been confirmed by biopsy will depend upon many factors: microscopic appearance, size and depth, location, and the patient’s health status. The most common treatments for squamous cell carcinoma:
Treatment of squamous cell carcinoma continues in frequent follow-up exams with a trained skin physician. This is to ensure that the SCC has not recurred and that a new skin cancer has not developed.
Mohs Surgery can be a potential treatment for patients in Torrance and the surrounding beach cities who are diagnosed with basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. Mohs surgery is a specialized surgical procedure that strives to preserve as much of the normal tissue as possible to prevent undue scarring and the need for corrective plastic surgery. Because the Mohs Micrographic Surgery process surgery features a systematic microscopic search that traces skin cancer down to its roots, it offers the highest chance for complete removal of the tumor while sparing the normal tissue surrounding it. Patients with a malignant diagnosis are referred to a specialized surgeon. Our trained Mohs surgeons in and physicians in Torrance CA perform Mohs on basal cell and squamous cell lesions.
Click to View Mohs Surgery Patient Video
Click to View America Society for Mohs Surgery Treatment Brochure
Facts about Mohs surgery:
* Mohs surgery was developed in the 1940’s by Dr. Frederick Mohs, a general surgeon from the University of Wisconsin, as a method to remove skin cancers.
* Mohs surgery is a specialized technique for removing various types of skin cancer.
* Mohs surgery is also known as microscopically controlled surgery. A microscope is not used during surgery, but is used to examine skin tissue immediately after it has been surgically removed.
* Mohs surgery provides the opportunity for the evaluation of all tissues around the surgical margins as compared to a “sampling” of the margins, which occurs with routine evaluation of excised tumor specimens.
Malignant melanoma is the most dangerous and life-threatening skin cancer of all, killing nearly 7,000 Americans each year. It has a great potential to spread to other parts of the body. When certain moles change their appearance this can be the indicator of evolution into malignant melanoma. Because of the severity of MM, it is important for survival to detect MM as early as possible.
First Warning Signs of a Malignant Melanoma
Melanoma can look like a mole, bump or growth on the skin. It can appear anywhere – even on areas that are not sun exposed.. In men, melanoma is found most often on the chest, stomach or back, and in women it is found most often on the legs. Beware of any development of a multicolored mole with jagged uneven borders or any other change in size, shape or color. Unlike the other skin cancers, these can occur on any part to the body. Find out more important facts about MM here Malignant Melanoma
Sometimes there are also abnormal skin areas that are not yet skin cancer. They are called precancers since they have the potential to turn into skin cancer. This precancerous condition is called Actinic Keratosis.
Actinic keratosis is often associated with SCC. It nearly always occurs on sun exposed areas and looks like a rough scaly skin patch. Because an AK can turn into cancer, it’s a good idea to pay attention to your skin. Do not let an actinic keratosis turn into a skin cancer. Read more about Actinic Keratosis and your treatment options
It is most commonly seen in elderly, light-skinned people with a large amount of sun exposure. Risk factors for the development of squamous cell carcinoma include:
*For any procedure and service described on this website, individual results may vary and may not be applicable in all cases.