Skin Cancer Management
Skin cancer affects 1 in 5 of us and includes basal and squamous cell carcinomas and malignant melanomas. Prevention, by always using sunscreen and minimizing sun exposure, is paramount. But when expert diagnosis and treatment is needed, we’re here for you.
Your Prevention and Treatment Partner
It’s probable you or someone you love have experienced precancerous or cancerous skin growths. It can be confusing and frightening. Getting the best care at the right time is how Olympic Dermatology helps our patients experiencing skin cancer.
“Because of decades of unwise exposure to the sun, I now visit Olympic Dermatology at least annually to be examined for skin damage. I am always impressed by the professionalism, efficiency, expertise, and good cheer of everyone there.”
What Skin Cancer Management Do You Offer?
Actinic keratoses are common pre-cancerous lesions, which we diagnose and treat. They are seen in areas of chronic sun exposure including scalp, face, ears, lips and the tops of the hands. On the lips the condition is called actinic cheilitis.
Basal and squamous cell cancers or malignant melanomas are treated in a variety of ways. Some need to be excised and Dr. Brazil is skilled in a variety of repairs to restore lost function and provide the best possible cosmetic outcome. Non-surgical treatments like Aldara, an imiquimod cream, and the newest option for patient choice, convenience and efficacy.
This non-invasive form of radiation therapy is an excellent alternative to surgery for the treatment of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers, as well as other skin disorders. It’s good for patients with lesions in difficult to treat locations or who require blood thinning medication.
What Do I Look For?
ABCDE’s of Melanoma
Consult your dermatologist immediately if any of your moles or pigmented spots exhibit:
A = Asymmetry
One half is unlike the other half.
B = Border
An irregular scalloped or poorly defined border.
C = Color
Is varied from one area to another; has shades of tan, brown or black, or is sometimes white, red, or blue.
D = Diameter
Melanomas are usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, but they can be smaller.
E = Evolving
A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.
When caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable, even melanomas, with a cure rate of almost 100%. Proper treatment starts with diagnosis by a dermatology provider and appropriate treatment. Prevention is very important to minimize the risk of skin cancer or re-occurrence so:
- Keep all dermatology appointments
- Perform self-examinations
- See a dermatology provider if you notice something changing, itching, or bleeding on your skin
- Protect your skin every day by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing and applying broad spectrum sunscreen
- Don’t use tanning beds