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NON-MELANOMA SKIN CANCERS

BASAL CELL CARCINOMA
Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common form of non-melanoma skin cancer and is easily treated with success if detected early. It usually occurs on areas of the skin that have frequent unprotected sun exposure such as the face, scalp, neck, hands and arms. It can, however, arise in areas that have little sun exposure, like the genitals or the feet, or anywhere on the body.

Basal Cell Carcinoma originates in the bottom layer of the skin's epidermis, called the basal layer, where new skin cells are born. It grows slowly, but can reach a large size over time. It is rare for Basal Cell Carcinoma to spread to nearby lymph nodes or to other parts of the body. If left untreated, however, Basal Cell Carcinoma can invade other healthy parts of the body beneath the skin.

What Should You Look For?
Basal Cell Carcinoma most often looks like a small, raised bump that has a pearly white or waxy color; it can also appear as a flat, firm, pale area. Blood vessels may be seen on the surface. It can also appear as a pimple-like growth that heals, only to reappear. A very common sign of Basal Cell Carcinoma is a sore that bleeds, then heals, only to recur after healing. Larger carcinomas may ooze or form a crust on the surface.

SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA
Squamous Cell Carcinoma originates in cells that have migrated from the basal layer to the upper layer of the epidermis. These cells are highly sensitive to UV light and daily levels of unprotected UV exposure may give rise to these carcinomas and accelerate their growth.

Most commonly found on the face, ears, legs and the back of the hands, Squamous Cell Carcinoma can enlarge more rapidly than Basal Cell Carcinoma. Some Squamous Cell Carcinomas arise from small sandpaper-like lesions called solar or actinic keratosis which are potentially pre-cancerous growths on the skin. While is it uncommon, Squamous Cell Carcinoma may spread to fatty tissues just under the skin, or to lymph nodes, increasing the patient's risk.

What Should You Look For?
Squamous Cell Carcinoma usually appears as flat, crusty or scaly patches on the skin with a red, inflamed base, or a non-healing ulcer. In some cases, Squamous Cell Carcinoma may develop but show only slight variations from normal skin. Certain forms of Squamous Cell Carcinoma can grow rapidly and ulcerate. Occasionally a Squamous Cell Carcinoma will look like a large inflamed wart.

WHEN SHOULD YOU SEE A DOCTOR?
Early detection is essential to successful treatments for any form of skin cancer, but it may be difficult for you to determine the nature of specific signs you see on the skin. In some cases, pre-cancerous conditions can be felt, but not seen, so a clinical examination can make all the difference in the process of uncovering troublesome skin conditions that may require medical treatment. And potentially cancerous conditions can be challenging to identify accurately on your own. You should consult a doctor if you notice signs of Basal Cell Carcinoma or Squamous Cell Carcinoma, if you see a new growth, if you are concerned about an unexplained symptom on the skin's surface, or if you develop an irritated lesion that will not heal.

HOW IS NON-MELANOMA SKIN CANCER DIAGNOSED?
At Karlene Dermatology, we make every effort to identify skin cancer risks or conditions as early as possible. Our goal, in every patient case, is to thoroughly investigate any questionable area on the skin's surface without performing unnecessary procedures. In many cases, an excisional biopsy will elucidate the problem, allowing us to consider proper treatment plans. When more in-depth analysis is required, we will employ the most effective and instructive methodology to achieve a definitive diagnosis.

Before taking a single treatment step, we exercise great care to assess not only the clinical characteristics of the lesion, but also its cosmetic characteristics, such as its defined edges, size and location, and how these attributes may impact a patient's appearance after treatment.

WHAT ARE YOUR TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Treatment options are tailored to the individual patient and may include surgery, radiation therapy or topical chemotherapy, depending on the type, size and location of the lesion.

Dermatologic surgery may be used with the objective of completely eradicating the lesion, depending on its size and location. Under local anesthetic, the lesion is excised along with some of the surrounding tissue. Most of these procedures may be performed in the dermatologist's office.

For lesions in more cosmetically sensitive areas, such as the central face, a Mohs surgical procedure may be considered to remove the lesion while best preserving the surrounding normal skin. With this surgical approach, small portions of skin are removed and examined microscopically until the tumor is completely out. The resulting defect is generally easier to repair because it is smaller.

Radiation therapy can be used successfully to treat Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma. These tumors usually respond well to this approach. We use a superficial form of radiation therapy, over a short term, and it is generally well tolerated by patients depending on their age and other factors. Radiation therapy may also help prevent the growth of new cancer cells.

Topical chemotherapy is effective in treating Basal Cell Carcinoma, but not as useful in cases of Squamous Cell Carcinoma. A medicated cream is applied daily to the surface of the tumor to destroy the cancerous cells. Treatment generally continues for six to 12 weeks, depending on response. Most patients experience significant skin irritation at the treatment site, but this resolves rapidly once the topical medication is discontinued. The cosmetic results of this treatment modality are generally excellent.

To learn more or to schedule an office visit call 586.573.4980 (Warren) or 810.230.0001 (Flint).

AESTHETIC TREATMENT OPTIONS

Acne
Blue Light Laser
Chemical Peels
Microdermabrasion
MicroLaser Peel
Vibradermabrasion

Hyperpigmentation
Broadband Light Laser
Chemical Peels
Microdermabrasion
MicroLaser Peel
Vibradermabrasion

Redness & Facial Veins
Broadband Light Laser
Candela Laser

 

Scarring
Chemical Peels
Dermal Fillers
Microdermabrasion
MicroLaser Peel
Profractional Resurfacing

Wrinkles & Rough Texture
Chemical Peels
Dermal Fillers
Injectables (Botox®)
Laser Treatments
(SkinTyteII, MLP, PFR)

 

 

CONDITIONS

Acne & Acne scars
Actinic keratosis
Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
Basal cell carcinoma
Contact dermatitis
Fungal infections
Genetic skin disorders
Hair loss (male and female)
Herpes
Hyperhidrosis
Hyperpigmentation
Melanoma
Moles
Rare skin diseases
Redness & Facial Veins
Rosacea
Scarring
Seborrheic dermatitis
Skin cancer –
    melanoma

Skin cancer –
    non-melanoma

Skin cancer –
    pre-cancerous conditions

Skin discoloration
Solar keratosis
Spider veins
Squamous cell carcinoma
Sunburn
Urticaria (hives)
Varicose Veins
Vitiligo
Warts
Wrinkles & Rough Texture

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