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Patients in Walnut Creek ask about treatment options after they present with skin cancer symptoms

Treatment options after they present with skin cancer symptoms

Your skin is one of the most common places for cancer to occur. When patients come into office with symptoms of skin cancer, we begin the process by taking a complete medical history including your level of sun exposure and whether you have a family history of skin conditions. We will want to know when the spot developed and if it has changed in size or color. We will perform a thorough skin exam and check the surrounding lymph nodes.

A biopsy can be done to confirm if the spot is cancerous. This involves surgically removing a portion of the growth under local anesthetic. We send the specimen to a pathologist for evaluation. If the pathologist confirms a cancer diagnosis, we will make recommendations for the best treatment based on the type of cancer.

Some of the most common treatments include:

  • Curettage – This is often the chosen treatment for basal cell carcinomas that are considered low risk (small, superficial, and have a well-defined edge). Treatment includes using a spoon-shaped sharp instrument to scrape away the cancer. An electric needle is used to minimize bleeding and destroy adjacent cancer cells.

  • Surgery – This is often suggested for high-risk tumors. Surgical excision includes removal of the tumor along with a margin to ensure all cancer has been extracted.

  • Mohs Surgery – During this procedure, the doctor will remove the tissue one layer at a time and evaluate it for tumor cells before continuing the next layer. Mohs surgery can be time consuming, but ensures the entire tumor is removed, scarring is minimized, and it has the highest cure rate of all the therapies.

If you are in the Walnut Creek area and have noticed any suspicious areas on your skin, call The Skin and Laser Treatment Institute today to schedule a skin cancer evaluation.

Dr. Christine Lee

Dr. Min-Wei Christine Lee

Dr. Christine Lee is a Board-certified Dermatologist with sub-specialties in laser surgery, cosmetic surgery, Mohs Micrographic Surgery, facial plastic reconstruction, and dermatologic surgery. She leads The Skin And Laser Treatment Institute as its Director and serves as Clinical Faculty for the Department of Dermatologic Surgery at the University of California San Francisco. Patients travel from across the globe for her expertise, and Dr. Lee has trained thousands of stateside and international doctors.
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