Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Skin cancer remains to be the most prevalent form of cancer worldwide. If you have a suspicious-looking bump or mole, inform your provider for cancer screening. If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, you can trust the best Chevy Chase, MD skin cancer specialist to develop a personalized treatment plan and provide the care you need to fight cancer.

An overview of skin cancer

Skin cancer is an abnormal multiplication of skin cells, often due to prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. However, this cancer can also develop in areas rarely exposed to sunlight. Usually, cell regeneration occurs when the cells grow old or get damaged. If this natural process is interfered with, a collection of skin cells can be benign or malignant. If cancerous skin cells are not removed, they may harm the surrounding tissues and multiply, leading to life-threatening symptoms.

Skin cancer can be classified into 3 categories:squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. Squamous cell carcinoma remains the most prevalent form of skin cancer. On the other hand, melanoma may not be common, but it is the most aggressive, and if discovered in its last stages, it may be difficult to treat. Early detection of the skin increases the chances of treatment success. Medical experts recommend annual skin cancer screening to enable prevention, early detection, and treatment. If you have a high risk of skin cancer, your provider may recommend several precautions to minimize your risk.

Diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer

During your appointment, your provider may inquire about strange moles, skin spots, or freckles. Your dermatologist may examine the skin on the soles of your feet, scalp, palms, and between your toes and ears. If they identify a suspicious lesion, they may recommend a biopsy. During a biopsy, the team removes a tissue sample of the lesion and sends it to the lab for examination. Your results will reveal whether the lesion is cancerous or harmless. If your results indicate you have skin cancer, the team may perform additional tests to determine the type and extent of cancer. The other tests may include a procedure to remove a nearby lymph node for testing or imaging tests to examine the surrounding lymph nodes.

Your treatment will rely on the type and extent of your skin cancer. Small, superficial cancers that have not spread deep into your skin layers may not require treatment beyond biopsy as the procedure eliminates the entire growth. If your skin cancer has spread to other skin layers, your provider may recommend cryotherapy, which utilizes liquid nitrogen to freeze the cancerous cells. This treatment is effective for early-stage skin cancer. Your doctor may also recommend excisional surgery, which removes the cancer cells and part of the surrounding tissue. In some cases, the team may recommend chemotherapy which kills the harmful cells. They apply anticancer medications on your skin if the cancer is superficial, but if it has spread deep, you may receive pills or an IV.

Call Ali Hendi, MD, or schedule an appointment online for cancer screening or treatment.

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