05 Nov What to Expect After a Skin Cancer Diagnosis
Any kind of cancer diagnosis can be scary and overwhelming. However, when caught early, skin cancer is the easiest to treat, and it is a specialty at Spectrum Dermatology. Although there are various types of skin cancers, all can be easily treated with a simple excision when caught in the early stages. Melanoma may be the deadliest of all cancers, but that is only applicable when diagnosed and treated in late stages.
How To Detect Signs Of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is highly prevalent, especially for fair-skinned people in sunny regions and/or with a history of sun damage. Prevention and early detection are key, so a good sunscreen regimen and annual mole checks are the best methods for addressing skin cancer. If you are diagnosed with early-stage skin cancer, here is what you can expect:
Diagnoses can only be made with a skin biopsy. Your dermatologist usually recommends these either during an annual mole check or at an appointment made specifically because a particular mole seems odd. The ABCDs of moles make up the framework for an atypical mole: asymmetry, border irregularity, color, and (large) diameter. However, not all cancerous moles fall into the ABCDs, and it can be difficult to gauge your own mole progressions because you see them every day (or don’t see them at all because of their location). This is yet another reason why annual checks are so necessary.
Your dermatologist will be able to gauge the stage of cancer through biopsies in many cases, although further tests (such as blood tests) may be required. In cases of late-stage skin cancer, clients may require more treatment than a simple excision.
Skin Cancer Treatment at Spectrum Dermatology
In most cases, skin cancer can be adequately treated and removed with an excision(s). The best approach is through Mohs surgery, which takes place in a single appointment. The area excised is then checked by an on-site lab until an “all clear” of the borders is achieved. Once the all clear is given, the client is cancer-free. However, it is essential to continue to monitor the area. A person with one skin cancer diagnosis is more likely to have additional future diagnoses. To find out more about skin cancer and to schedule a mole check, contact Spectrum Dermatology at 480-948-8400.