Does skin cancer in Walnut Creek mean plastic surgery?
Skin cancer results from abnormal cells that form in the skin. In the
epidermis, or outer layer of skin, these are classified as basal cell
carcinoma; and in the flat cells of the surface of the skin, as squamous
cell carcinoma. When these neoplasms develop in the cells that make
pigment (melanocytes), a much more serious form of skin cancer called
However, every type of skin cancer is serious. The National Cancer Institute estimates that, in the United States alone, more than one million new cases of non-melanoma cancers were diagnosed in 2010 resulting in nearly 1,000 deaths.
It is the most common form of cancer diagnosed. Your risk increases with UV exposure (from sun or tanning beds), smoking, HPV (human papilloma virus), and other medical and hereditary factors. Fortunately, skin cancer is an extremely treatable form of the disease.
Mohs micrographic surgery is one of the most advanced treatments available for skin cancer and also the most effective. This exacting method involves surgical removal of the cancerous growth with minimal destruction of adjoining tissue. A process of staining and mapping allows a trained Mohs surgeon to follow the exact border of the cancer and remove it to a precise depth, layer by layer. The cure rate is consistently in the high 90s – as great as 99.8 percent depending on the type of cancer.
Most traditional methods of skin cancer removal (excision, electrodessication, curettage, and cryosurgery) take a substantial amount of surrounding tissue to ensure elimination of the cancerous tumor. Thus, the wound is larger with more significant scarring. Since Mohs surgery preserves as much normal tissue as possible, scarring is minimized. This makes Mohs surgery an advantageous option, especially for facial skin cancer.
Is a qualified Mohs surgeon available to the residents of Walnut Creek? Plastic surgery or reconstructive surgery may not be necessary following your skin cancer treatment when you contact Dr. M. Christine Lee at the East Bay Laser & Skin Care Center, Inc. She is a Board-certified dermatologist with fellowship training in Mohs surgery, and has performed the procedure thousands of times.
It’s your skin, your face, your health. Don’t trust it to anything less.