A skin cancer diagnosis is not exclusive to a select group of people. Everyone is at risk, even if you take precautions when out in the sun. Those whose families are genetically predisposed are at an increased risk of contracting skin cancer, along with people who have lighter skin tones, though darker complexions can be diagnosed too.
Eliminating skin cancer starts with prevention. Regular cancer screenings at Cosmetic Surgeons of Michigan, PC and everyday vigilance about the marks on your body will help keep cancers from forming; however, if you have already received a skin cancer diagnosis, there are treatment options available to keep it benign.
Dr. Goffas practices many preventative techniques for skin cancer as he believes that early diagnosis is key to your overall well being.
Do You Have Skin Cancer?
One of the best ways to keep skin cancer from forming is to perform regular examinations on your own body and check for unfamiliar lesions. Many people are born with moles, freckles and birthmarks, and others develop them as they age. It’s important to take note of the pigments on your body and ensure they remain unchanged.
Moles or marks that simply appear are cause for medical concern and should be examined by Dr. Goffas. Likewise, if you have a mole that begins to alter its appearance, this could also be a sign of skin cancer.
Types of Skin Cancer
There are three types of skin cancer that you can contract, all of which require medical attention if discovered.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
As the mildest form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma is also the most common. It usually occurs due to excessive sun exposure without adequate protection, and it is easily treated when discovered; however, patients who do develop this form of skin cancer have an increased risk of contracting it again in five years, which means that regular cancer screenings are necessary to promote your health. Basal cell carcinoma resembles a red or flesh-colored bump that could be mistaken for an ulcer.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
This form of skin cancer is also fairly common and treatable when caught early on. Usually occurring in individuals with fairer skin, squamous cell carcinoma appears as a result of sun exposure and can develop from actinic keratosis — a pre-cancerous skin condition. The lesions tend to be smaller in size and can appear on any part of the body that the sun has had exposure to. It also closely resembles a basal cell carcinoma lesion.
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and is very often life-threatening if left to progress. When caught early, melanoma can be treated, which is why it is important to receive routine screenings. Melanoma usually develops from older moles on your body and becomes apparent when those moles begin to alter in shape and in color. The lesion is characterized by a dark and asymmetrical patch on the skin and requires immediate medical treatment when discovered.
What Are Your Treatment Options?
Dr. Goffas performs Mohs micrographic surgery as a way to remove cancerous tumors and prevent skin lesions from spreading throughout the body. Known as one of the most effective treatments for skin cancer, Mohs surgery simultaneously examines the lesions on the skin and gradually removes the portions that are cancerous.
The surgery works by excising the lesion, layer by layer, until the cancer is no longer detectable. Dr. Goffas uses a microscope to see exactly how much skin he is removing and confidently eliminate all of the skin cancer from the lesion. He also examines the excised skin to get a better idea of how much cancer remains in your body. The surgery is repeated until only healthy tissue remains, taking all of the guess work out of your cancer treatment.
Dr. Goffas will also recommend that you practice preventative measures to keep skin cancer from returning. Applying gracious amount of sun block and wearing clothing like hats, sun glasses and long-sleeves will keep the sun from harming the skin.
One of the most important measures you can take is to see Dr. Goffas regularly for a skin examination, which will help you both keep tabs on your health and prevent cancer from appearing and/or spreading.
If you would like more information about the skin cancer treatment we provide, or if you are interested in scheduling an appointment for a skin examination, contact Cosmetic Surgeons of Michigan, PC at 586-773-6900 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Goffas.