Skin Cancer Types
“Dr. Ambay is a knowledgeable dermatologist. I came in for a skin condition that had really affected my self-esteem for years. I had visited others who gave me 10 minute appointments after 3 months of waiting. Dr. Ambay was kind, courteous and comforting. She talked with me for an hour! In the end, she laid out a treatment plan that engaged me as a partner in my own health. Two weeks later, my skin condition and my self-esteem improved. Dr. Ambay is a one of a kind!!” ~ Gina
Basal Cell Skin Cancer (BCC)
BCC is the most common form of skin cancer. BCC commonly occurs in sun-exposed areas of the head and neck, upper chest, upper back and extremities. Initially, the growth may not appear concerning and may even resemble a pimple. Over time, the cancer will continue to grow and may appear as a painless, pink shiny bump, a patch, a scar, or a bleeding sore.
Chronic or intense sun exposure is often the cause of this skin cancer; however, chronic indoor tanning, previous x-ray radiation, burns or non-healing ulcers may increase the risk of BCC. Your skin type and family genetics may also increase the risk of BCC and other malignant skin cancers. BCC should be evaluated and treated promptly as it may continue to grow and become disfiguring as it spreads.
Squamous Cell Skin Cancer (SCC)
SCC is the second most common form of skin cancer and can be deadly. SCC can occur on all areas of the body, but occurs most commonly on sun-exposed areas of the face, particularly on the ear, lip, face, scalp, neck and extremities. Early in its presentation, SCC may appear as a crusted or scaly pink patch that is persistent. With time, this patch enlarges and may form a growth or bump. At times, SCC can also masquerade as a changing wart or a non-healing sore. Some types of SCCs can be aggressive and must be detected early to obtain the best prognosis.
Intense or chronic sun exposure is often the cause of this skin cancer but skin type and genetics plays a role as well. Chronic indoor tanning, old burn injuries and non-healing wounds may act as a bed for SCC. A compromised immune system also presents a higher risk of developing this type of skin cancer. SCC can grow relatively rapidly and can destroy underlying tissues. It can also metastasize or spread to different parts of the body and can become deadly if left untreated. For both BCC and SCC, UV minimization is the key to avoiding these skin cancers. Regular use of SPF 30 sunscreen, sun-protective clothing and avoiding peak sun exposure can significantly minimize risk of these skin cancers.
Contact 360 Dermatology for personalized evaluation and treatment planning for your skin cancer. Depending on the specifics of your skin cancer, you may be a candidate for Mohs surgery, a specialized tissue-conserving skin cancer surgery.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer that can be fatal if left untreated. Melanoma can arise and spread anywhere on and in the body including the lungs and brain. It can arise within changing moles or can arise de novo (on its own). Although majority of melanomas are black or brown, they can also be skin colored. This form of skin cancer arises from pigment cells normally present in your skin. However, due to mutations triggered by sun/UV exposure the pigment cells can become rapidly malignant. Some people are genetically predisposed to making having this type of skin cancer. Careful attention and close follow-up is critical when evaluating a changing mole or a new mole. If caught early, melanoma is treatable and can be removed with a wide excision/office-based surgery. With advanced stages, lymph nodes may need to be evaluated (referred to as sentinel lymph node biopsy) by a surgeon and reconstructive surgery may also be needed.
To minimize any inconvenience in your skin cancer treatment, 360 Dermatology is partnered with Ambay Plastic Surgery under one roof to offer you the ultimate in convenience and coordinated care. Our goal is to help you through your treatment quickly so that you can focus on the more important things in your life!