Columbus, Dublin and Grove City, OH Skin Cancer Treatment

Skin cancer is the most common form of human cancers, affecting morecolumbus oh skin cancer treatment than one million Americans every year.  One in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives.  Skin cancers are generally curable if caught early.  However, people who have had skin cancer are at a higher risk of developing a new skin cancer, which is why regular self-examination and doctor visits are imperative.

The vast majority of skin cancers are composed of three different types:  basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

This is the most common form of skin cancer.  Basal cells reside in the deepest layer of the epidermis, along with hair follicles and sweat ducts.  When a person is overexposed to UVB radiation, it damages the body’s natural repair system, which causes basal cell carcinomas to grow.  These tend to be slow-growing tumors and rarely metastasize (spread).  Basal cell carcinomas can present in a number of different ways:

  • raised pink or pearly white bump with a pearly edge and small, visible blood vessels
  • pigmented bumps that look like moles with a pearly edge
  • a sore that continuously heals and re-opens
  • flat scaly scar with a waxy appearance and blurred edges

Despite the different appearances of the cancer, they all may bleed with little or no cause.  The majority of basal cell carcinomas occur on the face and neck since these are areas that are most exposed to the sun.

Risk factors for basal cell carcinoma include having fair skin, sun exposure, age (increasing with age), exposure to ultraviolet radiation (as in tanning beds or for acne treatments years ago), and therapeutic radiation given to treat an unrelated health issue.

Diagnosing basal cell carcinoma requires a biopsy.

Treatments for basal cell carcinoma include:

  • Curettage and Desiccation – This treatment involves using a small metal instrument (called a curette) to scrape out the tumor along with an application of an electric current into the tissue to kill off any remaining cancer cells.
  • Mohs Micrographic Surgery – The preferred method for large tumors, Mohs Micrographic Surgery combines removal of cancerous tissue with microscopic review while the surgery takes place.  By mapping the diseased tissue layer by layer, less healthy skin is damaged when removing the tumor.
  • Prescription Medicated Creams – These creams can be applied at home for very early lesions but does not have cure rates as high as other methods.  They stimulate the body’s natural immune system over the course of weeks.
  • Radiation Therapy – Radiation therapy is used for difficult-to-treat tumors.  Usually in patients who can’t have surgery.
  • Surgical Excision– In this treatment the tumor is surgically removed and stitched up.


Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cells are found in the upper layer (the surface) of the epidermis and the squamous cell carcinoma is composed of malignant squamous cells.  Squamous cell carcinoma has a characteristic look under a microscope and often presents as a crusted or scaly patch or bump of skin with an inflamed, red base.  They may be tender to the touch.  Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer, and has a little more risk of fatality than basal cell carcinoma.

Squamous cell carcinoma can develop anywhere, including inside the mouth and on the genitalia.  It most frequently appears on the scalp, face, ears, arms, and back of hands.  Squamous cell carcinoma tends to develop among fair-skinned, middle-aged and elderly people who have a history of sun exposure.  In some cases, it evolves from actinic keratoses, dry scaly lesions that can be flesh-colored, reddish-brown or tan, and which appear on skin that is rough or leathery.  Actinic keratoses are considered to be precancerous, and some experts consider them to be the earliest stage of squamous cell carcinoma.

Like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma is diagnosed via a biopsy.

Treatments for squamous cell carcinoma include:

  • Curettage and Desiccation – This treatment involves using a small metal instrument (called a curette) to scrape out the tumor along with an application of an electric current into the tissue to kill off any remaining cancer cells.
  • Mohs Micrographic Surgery – The preferred method for large tumors, Mohs Micrographic Surgery combines removal of cancerous tissue with microscopic review while the surgery takes place.  By mapping the diseased tissue layer by layer, less healthy skin is damaged when removing the tumor.
  • Prescription Medicated Creams – These creams can be applied at home for very early lesions but do not have cure rates as high as other methods.
  • Radiation Therapy – Radiation therapy is used for difficult-to-treat tumors.  Usually in patients who can’t have surgery.
  • Surgical Excision – In this treatment the tumor is surgically removed and stitched up.


Melanoma

While melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer, it is the most likely to be fatal.  It is the most common form of cancer among young adults age 25 to 29.  Melanocytes are cells found in the bottom layer of the epidermis.  These cells produce melanin, the substance responsible for skin pigmentation.  That’s why melanomas often present as dark brown or black spots on the skin.  Melanomas spread rapidly to internal organs and the lymph system, making them quite dangerous.  Early detection is critical for curing this type of skin cancer.

Melanomas look like moles and often do grow inside existing moles.  That’s why it is important for people to conduct regular self-examinations of their skin in order to detect any potential skin cancer early, when it is treatable.  The majority of melanomas are caused by overexposure to the sun beginning in childhood.  However, melanoma can occur in areas that have never received sun exposure (e. g., genital, rectal, and scalp regions).  This cancer also runs in families.

Melanoma is diagnosed via a biopsy.  Treatment generally involves surgical removal.


What To Look For To Detect Skin Cancers

The key to detecting skin cancers is to notice changes in your skin.  Look for:

  • Large brown spots with darker speckles located anywhere on the body.
  • Dark lesions on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, fingertips, toes, mouth, nose or genitalia.
  • Translucent pearly and dome-shaped growths.
  • Existing moles that begin to grow, itch or bleed.
  • Brown or black streaks under the nails.
  • A sore that repeatedly heals and re-opens.
  • Clusters of slow or rapid growing scaly lesions that are pink or red.

The American Academy of Dermatology has developed the following ABCDE’S guide for assessing whether or not a mole or other lesion may be becoming cancerous.

  • Asymmetry: Half the mole does not match the other half in size, shape or color.
  • Border: The edges of the mole are irregular, blurred, notched or not smooth.
  • Color: The mole is not the same color throughout or not evenly tan or brown.
  • Diameter: The mole is larger than one-quarter inch in size (the diameter of a pencil eraser).
  • Evolution: Change in size, shape, color and elevation.
  • Symptoms: Bleeding, scabbing, itching, pain and stinging.

If any of these conditions occur, please make an appointment to see one of our dermatologists right away.  The doctor may do a biopsy of the mole to determine if it is or isn’t cancerous.

Prevention

The majority of skin cancers are attributable to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.  That’s why prevention involves:

  • Staying out of the sun during peak hours (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.).
  • Covering up the arms and legs with protective clothing.
  • Wearing a wide–brimmed hat and sunglasses.
  • Using sunscreens year round with a SPF of 30 or greater and sunblocks that work on both UVA and UVB rays.  Look for products that use the term “broad spectrum.”  However, keep in mind, sunscreens are good at blocking burning rays, but tanning rays are not completely blocked by sunscreens, which mean sunscreens do not completely prevent sun damage from happening.
  • Checking your skin monthly and contacting your dermatologist if you notice any changes.
  • Getting regular skin examinations.  It is recommended that patients with moles, freckles, or other growths get an annual exam with a dermatologist.

For more information on Skin Cancer Treatment in the Columbus, Grove City or Dublin, OH areas call Buckeye Dermatology, Inc at (614) 761-1151 today!

 

 

Dr. Stephanie K. Fabbro

joins 

Buckeye Dermatology!

Stephanie K. Fabbro, M.D. became the seventh dermatologist at Buckeye Dermatology in July, 2016.  Dr. Fabbro graduated from the Accelerated B.S./M.D. Program at Northeast Ohio Medical University.  She completed her Internship in Internal Medicine and Residency in Dermatology at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where she served as Chief Dermatology Resident and received multiple awards, including the Beiersdorf Resident of Distinction Award.  Dr. Fabbro provides a comprehensive spectrum of medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatologic services.  Dr. Fabbro is on the faculty at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and has special interests in Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma and dermatoethics.  She is an attending Dermatology physician at The Ohio State University  Multidisciplinary Cutaneous Lymphoma Clinic.

Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy at Buckeye Dermatology

Buckeye Dermatology now provides Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy for the treatment of Actinic Keratosis, which is a precancerous conditition of the skin. Now numerous actinic keratoses can be treated at one time with a high clearance rate. Make an appointment to discuss this treatment with one of our dermatology providers today!

Dr. Dean Hearne is seeing patients in Springfield!

Our office is located at             2121 East High Street in Springfield, Ohio.  Please call 1-800-557-SKIN (7547)