Skin Cancer Removal – An Explanation of the Cancers and the Process

Skin cancer removal is one of the surgery offerings that is featured at the office of Dr. Gordon Kaplan, a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Skin cancer seems innocuous at first as it just looks like a small mole or lesion in many instances. However, realizing a change in the skin is essential in catching the disease early.

Where Skin Cancer Develops

Skin cancer growths can develop in several key areas of the body. Patients can find them on the scalp, lips, face, ears, neck, legs, hands, arms or chest – anywhere the skin has been exposed to the sun. The disease often takes form among sunbathers or people who regularly work outdoors. Lesions can also form in areas that do not normally receive UVA and UVB light, such as the genital area or underneath the toenails and fingernails.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

The most common form of skin cancer is called BCC, which stands for basal cell carcinoma. This form of skin cancer can take on various forms in its development. BCC rarely metastasizes. However, if the lesion is not removed, it can cause a lot of damage to the skin’s tissue after a period of time. BCC tumors are often removed from such areas as the hands, arms or face. The tumor appears as a waxy bump or as a flat, brown or fleshy scar.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

SCC, or squamous cell carcinoma, is not as frequently diagnosed as BCC. The skin cancer is usually found in fair-skinned patients. SCC normally develops after the patient has received an great deal of exposure to the sun. While the cancer is usually found on sun-exposed areas, it can develop anywhere on the body. Squamous cell carcinoma can look like a red and firm nodule or a lesion that is flat with a crusted and scaly surface.

The Rarest Form of Skin Cancer: Melanoma

The rarest form of skin cancer is melanoma, which can spread rapidly. A procedure must be scheduled immediately after a diagnosis is made. Melanoma usually appears as a newly formed mole and may develop in a mole that already exists. Be on the lookout for a brown spot with darker speckles or a mole that changes in size, feel, or color or tends to bleed. The small lesion can also exhibit an irregular border or portions that are displayed in blue-black, white, blue, or red.

How Tumors Form

In order to detect a tumor or lesion, you need to understand how the growth develops and what to look for when you are examining yourself. The damage to the skin that results in skin cancer mainly is the product of exposure to UV (ultraviolet) radiation – found both in sunlight and the lights of a tanning bed. Cancers of the skin that are not exposed to the sun’s radiation usually result from exposure to toxins or from the development of an immune system deficiency.

While BCC is rarely, if ever discoloured (appearing like a waxy scar), SCC is almost always marked by an inflamed and crusty patch of skin. Melanoma is typically equated to a change in the appearance of a mole or the development of a brown spot that is uneven in shape or color.

Scheduling an Consultation

Dr. Kaplan’s office can assist you in removing any moles or unwanted lesions that are cancerous growths. It’s always best to initially consult with a dermatologist to see if the skin condition is indeed cancer or a benign skin growth.

Skin cancer treatment can be discussed by arranging a consultation with Dr. Kaplan’s office in Montvale, New York, or Edgewater. Call 201-710-7771 to schedule an appointment at your convenience.