Skin cancer can grow and spread significantly before you even know it’s there. At Anchorage Dermatology & Cosmetics in Anchorage, Alaska, skin experts Courtney Bagayoko, MD, FAAD, Roy E. Howard, PA-C, and the team encourage you to get regular skin cancer screenings. They can also treat any detected cancerous lesions. Call Anc
Skin cancer develops when damage to your skin cells’ DNA causes them to start growing out of control. As with other types of cancer, skin cancer can continue growing and even spread to other parts of your body if you don’t identify and treat it at an early stage. You can mitigate your risk of severe skin cancer by talking to your dermatologist about getting skin cancer screenings.
Most skin cancers arise from sun damage, which is why it’s important to cover up as much skin as you can while in the sun and invest in a high-SPF sunscreen to protect your skin. Doing so protects you from the three most common types of skin cancer, which are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
The team at Anchorage Dermatology & Cosmetics diagnoses skin cancer through a biopsy. They remove a small sample of cells from the lesion in question and send the sample to a lab for testing.
For early-stage skin cancers, a biopsy or the surgical removal of the affected area can stop the cancer from spreading.
Treatment depends on the cancer’s progression, size, and type. The team might recommend:
If you detect them early enough, certain skin cancers can be treated with medicated creams and ointments that the team applies in the office or you apply at home.
Excisions cut out the tumor and a margin of healthy skin to remove the cancerous lesion in its entirety. The team offers numbing cream or local anesthesia to keep you comfortable.
The team applies liquid nitrogen to the affected area to freeze the tissue, causing the cancer cells to die.
Chemotherapy destroys cancer cells with strong medications. The team administers them either through intravenous therapy (IV) or in oral pill form.
High doses of radiation can kill cancer cells or shrink the size of tumors to stop them from spreading.
Certain medications target and kill the cancer’s genes, proteins, and tissues that contribute to cancer’s growth.
The earlier you detect skin diseases or potential skin cancers, the more treatment options and higher success rates you can have.
For more information on skin cancer and melanomas or to schedule an appointment, call the office today or request an appointment online for a quick and easy option.