Why did I get skin cancer?
Skin cancers are “neoplasms,” or abnormal growths in skin tissues. All
skin cancer is serious – prevention, early detection, and effective
treatment are vital, as the degree of malignancy of each type can vary.
Basal-cell carcinoma is very common on the face and neck, especially on Caucasians. It can be disfiguring. It is considered malignant because, untreated, it spreads to surrounding tissues. However, it rarely metastasizes (becomes life-threatening).
Squamous-cell carcinoma occurs because of mutated cells in the body cavity. It can affect the skin, lips, mouth, and other bodily organs. Risk of metastasis is higher than with basal-cell cancer, and this type has a high rate of recurrence.
Melanoma is pigmented tumors, usually on the skin. Melanoma can spread throughout the body via the blood and lymph vessels.
Many factors, environmental and hereditary, can increase your chances of getting skin cancer.
- Exposure to the sun.
- UV radiation from tanning beds.
- Human papilloma virus (HPV), linked to squamous-cell cancer.
- Compromised immune system from illness or medical treatment.
- Gender – melanoma is more common in women than men.
- Ethnic background. Fair-skinned races are more susceptible.
- Genetics; for example, melanoma tends to run in families.
There is good news regarding skin cancer. We know more today
than ever before about the need for prevention. Preventive products,
like sunscreen, are inexpensive and readily available. Public education
and awareness improves daily. Medical breakthroughs like the vaccine for
HPV are underway. And treatment options have never been better.
Mohs micrographic surgery is one of those options. This microscopically controlled, or chemographic, surgery is a preferred treatment for cosmetic areas (face and neck); recurring tumors; carcinoma near existing scar tissue; and cancers that are large, have undefined borders, or are fast-growing.
Mohs surgery is available to Walnut Creek residents. Dr. M. Christine Lee at The Skin and Laser Treatment Institute has a specialized fellowship in Mohs micrographic surgery.
The success rate is high, and your cure starts with a simple consultation. Call today.