Gardner Plastic Surgery For Skin Cancer Removal And Restoration
While “Skin Cancer Awareness Month” is promoted annually in May, it’s never too late to learn more about protecting yourself from the dangers of skin cancer. With the sunshine-filled days of summer upon us, it’s the perfect time to educate yourself about this very common disease. There is a strong correlation between skin cancer and sun exposure, and it is the most prevalent form of cancer in the country. Almost 10,000 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every day.
For Americans, that represents more than 3 million cases of skin cancer diagnosed every year. Fortunately, skin cancers are among the most easily treatable forms of cancer. Survival rates are exceptionally high for most skin cancers when detected early. Additionally, plastic surgeons have become adept at skin cancer removal with limited scarring and, in more advanced cases, reconstructive skin surgeries designed to preserve normal appearances.
With skin cancer prevalence connected to exposure to ultraviolet rays (UV) from the sun and/or tanning beds, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer. Avoiding UV exposure and protecting the skin from UV rays by wearing sunscreen and protective clothing goes a long way in limiting the possible cancer-causing DNA damage from UV exposure.
Most Common Skin Cancer Types
Three primary skin cancer types are responsible for more than 98 percent of all skin cancer diagnoses:
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinomas are the most common type of skin cancer, representing about 80 percent of all skin cancer diagnoses. Basal cells lie within the lower part of the epidermis. These cells reproduce and move toward the skin’s surface to become squamous cells. Fortunately, basal cell carcinomas are slow growing and rarely spread to other parts of the body (metastasize.) Typically found on sun-exposed areas, and especially the neck and head, basal cell carcinomas will regrow in the same place if not completely removed. If left completely untreated, over time this form of cancer can grow into nearby bones and tissues. Reoccurrence of basal cell skin cancers on other parts of the skin is common. This cancer often present themselves as red bumps.
Squamous cell carcinomas are also commonly found on sun-exposed areas, such as face, lips, ears, mouth, neck, and the back of the hands. While they develop on the outer layer of skin, they can grow into the deeper skin layers and metastasize if left untreated. Squamous cells lay on the outer part of the epidermis. They shed often as new squamous cells grow in from the basal cell layers. As with basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell cancers are slow growing and have low rates of metastasizing. Roughly two out of 10 skin cancers are diagnosed as the squamous cell variety, and the disease typically presents itself as a red scaly patch or series of red bumps.
Melanoma is the rarest of the three primary skin cancer types, but is the most dangerous and lethal because it can quickly spread to other parts of the body if not detected early. Melanomas can develop anywhere on the skin, but are most likely to develop on the chest and back in men and on the legs in women, followed by the neck and face on both men and women. Melanomas often develop around existing moles and tend to change their shape, color, and texture, or, in some cases, form tumors that resemble moles.
Turn To Plastic Surgeons For Skin Cancer Removal
While traditional cancer-fighting treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can be used with skin cancer, removal is considered the front-line treatment. Most skin cancers that are detected early can be removed with relative ease and limited damage to the skin. In fact, minimally invasive freezing, laser treatment, and topical creams can be used with many early forms of basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas.
However, skin cancers that have set deeply into the skin, are located in sensitive areas, or have started to disfigure the skin, may require more intensive surgery. In such cases, a board-certified plastic surgeon may be able to provide the best options for completely removing the cancer and then reconstructing the skin around the operative area.
Consult With Gardner Plastic Surgery For Your Skin Cancer Treatment
Gardner Plastic Surgery provides top-tier diagnosis and treatment in skin cancer. Our board-certified surgeons are highly experienced in identifying and removing all types of skin cancer. Their specialized training allows them to completely remove skin cancers with the least damage possible. Our doctors are skilled in providing restorative cosmetic surgery techniques to repair cancer-related skin damage. If you would like to learn more about how Gardner Plastic Surgery can help you successfully treat your skin cancer, Dr. Paul Gardner or Dr. Leo Baccaro would be happy to speak to you in a one-on-one consultation. Contact Gardner Plastic Surgery today at 239.566.2611 to schedule your initial consultation.