Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. It may be problematic if it’s undetected and untreated. If you notice a suspicious-looking skin lesion or are due for an annual skin cancer screening, turn to Patricia O’Connor, MD and the expert team at Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center in Glen Allen, Virginia. They offer advanced and coordinated skin cancer treatments to prevent serious complications and give you the best result. If you've been diagnosed with skin cancer, call the Richmond-area office or send us a message to book an appointment on our contact page.
Skin cancer treatment at Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center uses the latest technology and techniques, including Mohs surgery, to remove cancerous tissue and prevent it from spreading to other parts of your body. The team’s first priority is your skin health, but we also want you to be happy with the way you look.
Signs and symptoms vary depending on the type of skin cancer, but in general, things to watch out for include:
The earlier you seek treatment for skin cancer, the better your expected outcome. That’s why routine at-home and in-office skin cancer screenings are important. When in doubt, seek out a board-certified dermatologist!
When you visit the office of Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center, you and your specialist will talk about your personal and family history of skin cancer and other risk factors for skin cancer like your history of blistering sun burns, tanning bed use, or immunosuppression.
They examine your skin, use a tool called a dermatoscope to more closely evaluate lesions, and ultimately use a procedure called a skin biopsy to confirm your diagnosis. This procedure involves the removing part or all of the concerning lesion for microscopic evaluation.
After this, the team will develop a treatment plan with you based on the type and degree of involvement of your skin cancer.
Your dermatologist customizes each skin cancer treatment based on the type of skin cancer you have and its severity. The three main types of skin cancer include squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Your dermatologist might recommend:
The Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center team has a Mohs surgeon, Dr. William Gillen, MD, in the office. During Mohs surgery, your doctor numbs the skin and removes your cancer and has the ability to immediately evaluate the edges or ‘margins’ microscopically. If there is any cancer left at the margin, he will take another layer only in that specific spot using a map of the tumor. This layered approach will repeat until all abnormal cells are gone. Once the ‘clearance’ of the entire margin has been achieved, the defect created by the removed tissue will be repaired in a way to achieve the most cosmetically pleasing result.
In an excision, your dermatologist numbs the area and, using a scalpel, cuts the skin down to the subcutaneous layer of fat, and removes the tumor along with a standard margin of normal-appearing skin. This margin has been determined to ensure high cure rates while keeping in mind the preservation of tissue. The defect caused by this skin removal will then be closed with stitches.
During curettage and electrodesiccation, your doctor numbs your skin and removes the lesion or any residual cancer after a biopsy using a circular blade called a curette. They then apply an electric needle to the area to destroy any remaining cancerous cells. This technique does not require a complicated repair or stitches.
Occasionally, superficial skin cancers can be treated with less invasive techniques like topical creams or light therapy (photodynamic therapy). Depending on your case, a combination of treatment options may be used in your treatment plan.
For more advanced stages of skin cancer, you may require an interdisciplinary approach with other physicians joining your treatment team. Drs. Gillen and O’Connor are accustomed to working with other physicians to coordinate care for your best outcome. Don’t let cancerous lesions develop into serious health complications. Schedule a routine skin cancer screening exam with Absolute Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center by phone orsend us a message to book an appointment on our contact page.
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