More than a million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed every year in the United States, making it the most common of all cancers. Skin cancer can be an even greater concern for those living in sun-drenched San Diego and Riverside Counties. Early detection and prevention are two of the best defenses against skin cancer; therefore, we specialize in skin cancer screening, education, and advanced treatment options.
About Skin Cancer
In order to detect skin cancer early, you should examine your skin regularly for any unusual lesions and changes in size, shape, color or diameter of moles. Protecting your skin from the sun is also important as 90 percent of all basal and squamous cell carcinomas are thought to be caused by overexposure to ultraviolet light.
There are three basic forms of skin cancer. The two most common are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas which account for 90 percent of all cases. The third kind, and the most dangerous, is malignant melanoma which can spread throughout the body. When detected early and treated properly, the recovery rate for all three types can be very high.
In Southern California, the treatment of skin cancer requires removal of the lesion plus a margin of healthy tissue for safety. Mohs micrographic surgery is used by Dermatology Specialists, Inc. for certain skin cancers located on the face or other cosmetically sensitive areas, when the skin cancer is in an area where recurrence is likely, and for large tumors and certain aggressive types of skin cancer. Of all treatment options for skin cancer, Mohs micrographic surgery:
- Offers the highest cure rate (up to 99%)
- Has the lowest rate of cancer recurrence
- Is the most exact and precise means of removal with the least scarring
During this procedure, the tumor is removed and divided into sections. Tissue-thin slices are examined under the microscope to determine if there is any malignancy in the outer areas.
If so, more tissue is removed and the process repeats until the doctor is reasonably certain no cancer remains. While this procedure is time consuming, it saves as much normal skin as possible. It is also quite cost-effective since fewer return visits are needed for treatment of recurring lesions.
For more information about Mohs Surgery:
More than 75,000 individuals in the United States are diagnosed with melanoma and nearly 10,000 die from their disease each year. The lifetime risk for developing melanoma is 1 in 37 for men and 1 in 56 for women.
The incidence of melanoma among individuals aged 65 years or older was more than 10 times greater than those aged 15 to 34 years and 2.7 times greater than those aged 35 to 65 years.
Despite recent advances, there is still no highly effective treatment of metastatic melanoma. By contrast, melanoma in situ (early stage melanoma) is a surgically curable disease. Therefore, the most promising approach to reducing melanoma mortality rates is the prompt detection and treatment of early-stage melanoma. The incidence of melanoma in the United States is increasing over time and the incidence increases with age. Thus early detection of melanoma via patient and physician screening in the aging population has the potential to substantially reduce melanoma mortality.
To find out more about preventing, detecting, and treating skin cancer in San Diego, Murrieta, Fallbrook, Escondido, Solana Beach, and Oceanside, click here to request a consultation at Dermatology Specialists, Inc. or call our office nearest you to schedule your appointment.