Catching the Early Warning Signs of Skin Cancer

By Top.me
Top.me

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Skin cancer is a pervasive medical condition that millions of people are diagnosed with every year. While being diagnosed with skin cancer can turn your life upside down, it is important for patients to realize that cancer treatments are more effective than ever.

With Dr. Vincent C. Hung by your side, you should be able to come up with a comprehensive treatment plan that removes the cancerous cells while preserving the healthy tissue. Here is a quick look at just a few of the early warning signs of skin cancer and some of the treatment options that patients should consider after they are diagnosed with that disease.

Doctor is checking a big freckle on girl's shoulder with a microscope

What to Look Out For

When it comes to skin cancer, the damage often occurs when an individual is in their teens or an early adult. After decades of exposure to harsh UV rays, you might begin to notice a few abnormalities on the surface of your skin. One of the most common signs of skin cancer is an unusual lesion or mark on the surface of the skin. The vast majority of freckles are completely harmless, but you should keep an eye on any larges patches of discolored skin. If the discoloration spreads or has uneven edges, then you should immediately contact your Dermatologist in Pasadena, CA for further testing. You should also contact a specialist if any of your freckles or lesions weep, become itchy, or bleed. If the cancerous cells spread, then you might begin to notice ongoing fatigue, chronic discomfort, and other serious health complications.

Getting Diagnosed

When you notice any of those early warning signs, you will need to contact a dermatologist for further testing. Every situation is slightly different, but those medical specialists will usually take a small sample of the potentially cancerous soft tissue. That sample is then tested at the doctor’s office or sent off to a lab where it can be tested with specialized tools. The total time that it takes to test the skin depends on a few variables, but most patients are going to hear back within a day or two. If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, then you and your dermatologist will need to come up with a comprehensive treatment plan.

Modern Treatment Options

While there are many different treatment options to choose from, many medical specialists are now suggesting Mohs surgery. That procedure has become very popular in recent years, and it has helped countless patients who have been diagnosed with skin cancer. During that operation, your surgeon is going to carefully remove all of the cancerous cells while leaving the healthy tissue intact. Within a week or two of your first procedure, you will need to schedule a follow-up appointment so that the surgeon can check for more damaged tissue. That process is going to be repeated multiple times until no cancerous tissue can be found.

The doctor is removing cancerous freckle on the back with a laser

 

The biggest benefit of Mohs surgery is the minimal scarring that occurs. Other skin cancer treatments can be highly effective, but many of them leave patients with very visible scars on the face, neck, or hands. During Mohs surgery, the scars tend to be much smaller because a very small amount of tissue is removed. As time goes on and the tissue continues to heal, the scar will become much less noticeable. Mohs surgery also has a very high success rate, and that procedure has helped many patients completely reverse their skin cancer as long as they catch the early warning signs.