Skin Cancer Treatment Center
There are many different forms of skin cancer and many are quite common. Fortunately, skin cancer is highly treatable, and many forms of this disease can be completely cured with the proper approach to treatment and follow-up care. Contact Metropolitan Dermatology in Clark, Kearny, Teaneck and Staten Island and visit our Skin Cancer Treatment Center for a thorough consultation.
Skin cancer occurs when abnormal skin cells begin to multiply rapidly and form tumors on the skin. Several types exist, including squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. These conditions occur most frequently when the skin has been exposed to the sun and are more likely to occur on skin with sun damage. However, sun exposure is not required for the development of skin cancer, and it can develop in areas that haven't ever been tanned or sun burnt.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms may vary based on the type of cancer cells present. However, typical symptoms include:
- A freckle or mole that suddenly changes
- Skin that cracks or bleeds and won't heal
- A skin lesion that isn't a solid color
- A skin lesion with irregular borders
Skin cancer may be raised, flat, smooth or scaly. It can also be virtually any color, from light tan to black. Any questionable lesion should be evaluated by a medical professional.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Suspected cases should first be visually examined by your physician or dermatologist. If the doctor believes that the lesion may be cancerous, he or she may order a biopsy. During the biopsy, a small piece of the tumor will be removed and tested. Certain types of skin cancer may also be identified using a less invasive procedure using epiluminescent microscopy*.
Treatments depend on the type of cancer and its severity, and may include:
- Surgical removal of the lesion
- Cryosurgery (freezing of the lesion)
- Chemotherapy medications (may be systemic or topical)
- Targeted radiation therapy
*NOTE: Dermoscopy is our preferred method of skin cancer detection. This approach allows for early detection and treatment of melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma while decreasing the number of biopsies required.
Outcomes and Follow-up
Most cases of basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma are limited to the skin. Following treatment, these cancers are typically eliminated. However, they may recur, either in the same location or somewhere else on the skin. If the cancer returns, another round of treatments is required.
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer. If you are diagnosed with this form of cancer and it has spread to other parts of the body, you may need more invasive, systemic treatments. In some cases, patients with melanoma cannot be cured.
Regardless of the type of cancer, immediate treatment is recommended. The sooner it is treated, the more positive the outcome will be. Any patient who has experienced the disease in the past should also have regular check-ups with a board certified dermatologist to look for any new instances or precancerous growths.