About 5.4 million people in the United States receive a basal or squamous cell skin cancer diagnosis each year. At Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton, Mark Amster, MD, and the team offer comprehensive skin cancer evaluations at offices in Mashpee, Brighton, and Needham, Massachusetts. They also provide on-site services, including Mohs surgery and cryotherapy, to treat all types of skin cancer, including melanoma, and prevent its spread. If you notice unusual changes in your skin that need an evaluation, call the Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton office nearest you or book an appointment online today.
Skin cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the cells inside your skin. These cells can begin reproducing abnormally and may spread from your skin into other parts of your body.
Exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun can trigger the abnormal reproduction of skin cells and lead to different types of skin cancer.
There are three main types of skin cancer:
Basal cell cancer is a type of skin cancer that typically doesn’t spread and is rarely life-threatening.
The cancer typically appears in sun-exposed areas of your body, including your neck and face. As the cancer cells grow, it damages the skin nearby and causes it to look raised and shiny.
Squamous cell skin cancer can spread to other areas of your body.
The cancerous skin tissue looks similar to an ulcer, with a hard lump and a scaly top, and most often develops on sun-exposed areas like the face, ears, and hands.
You can also develop this type of cancer in areas of your body not receiving sun exposure, especially if you have a darker skin tone.
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer that develops in the cells that produce melanin, the pigment that gives your skin color.
Exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds can increase your risk for melanoma. Cancerous cells can develop anywhere on your body. You might notice changes in the shape or size of existing moles or the development of unusual skin growths that change in color or grow larger.
Your treatment plan for skin cancer depends on the type of cancer you have, its location, and your age.
Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton offers several treatment options for skin cancer, including chemotherapy and radiation to destroy cancer cells in your skin. The providers also offer:
Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the cancerous skin cells and destroy them. This procedure requires no incisions to treat the cancerous tissue and can prevent cancer from spreading to other areas of your body.
Mohs micrographic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves removing visible signs of skin cancer through thin layers of the skin to determine where the cancer ends.
After your provider removes each layer of skin, they examine it under a microscope to check for cancerous cells. The surgery continues until your provider reaches a layer of skin that isn’t cancerous.
Mohs surgery is an effective way to ensure the removal of all cancerous cells while still leaving your healthy skin intact.
If you notice changes in your skin or moles, don’t delay a skin cancer evaluation. You can schedule online or by calling the Integrated Dermatology of Newton-Brighton office nearest you.