Dr. Weaver has years of experience diagnosing, treating and curing skin cancer. If we find cancer during your screening our treatment will vary depending on the depth, location, size and type of the lesions. Under most circumstances we treat skin cancer as an outpatient procedure with a local anesthetic.
Our treatment options include the following:
- Laser therapy to vaporize the growth
- Freezing the lesions with liquid nitrogen
- Excisional surgery to cut out the cancerous tissue
- Surgery to remove larger, recurring or difficult-to-treat skin cancers
Skin Cancer Explained
Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of cells that can occur on any area of the body and usually caused by overexposure to the sun. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer and affects than more than one million people in the United States each year. As long as skin cancer is detected early it is very treatable and has high recovery rates. However, once you have skin cancer once your chances of getting it again increase drastically so remember to get routine screenings and perform self examinations as well.
Skin Cancer Causes
The epidermis is the top layer of your skin and it provides a protective layer of skin cells that your body continually sheds. These cells typically develop and slough off in an orderly fashion in a process controlled by DNA. When the DNA sustains damage, which often happens from the sun, changes occur in the process and new cells can possibly grow out of control forming a mass of cancer cells. UVA and UVB rays produced by the sun cause the most damage to the skin; however, other factors contribute as well, such as heredity and toxic chemicals.
Skin Cancer Prevention
Smart choices may prevent skin cancer from occurring; however, sometimes no matter how “smart” you are skin cancer may still occur. The following tips may help you remain skin cancer free:
- Apply sunscreen all year long
- Avoid the sun while taking sun-sensitizing medications
- Cover your skin with long clothes
- Do not use tanning beds or lamps
- Report any changes in your skin to the doctor
- Schedule regular skin exams
- Stay out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Wear hats and sunglasses
Skin Cancer Symptoms
Skin cancer usually occurs on the skin that receives the most sun exposure, such as your face, hands and legs. However, it can happen in other areas of the body as well. We suggest you follow the “ABCDE” rule to help identify areas of the skin to examine:
- A for asymmetry
A mole or growth that looks irregular in shape when divided equally
- B for border
Edges that look blurry, notched or jagged
- C for color
Changes in the color of a growth or mole such as darkening, spreading of color, loss of color or the appearance of multiple colors
- D for diameter
Larger than 1/4 inch in diameter or sudden, dramatic growth
- E for evolving
Watch for unusual crusting, bleeding, changes in appearance or a sore that will not heal