Twenty percent of Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Fortunately, skin cancer treatment and surgery offered by your Muskogee and Tulsa, OK, dermatologists at Southside Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center, Dr. Alison Fisher and Dr. Robert Fisher, will help you protect your health if you're diagnosed with skin cancer.
Symptoms of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer causes changes in your skin that are often easy to overlook. A patch of flaky skin, a sore that doesn't heal, a dark spot on your skin, or a red bump that never goes away could be signs of basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer. A change in the color, shape, size or appearance of a mole may mean that you have melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
These signs don't automatically mean that you have skin cancer, but they are a cause for concern. If you receive a skin cancer diagnosis, your Muskogee and Tulsa, OK, skin doctors can recommend skin cancer treatment and surgery that will remove the cancerous cells.
Skin Cancer Treatments
Depending on the type and severity of the skin cancer, your dermatologist may recommend one of these treatments:
- Freezing: Spraying liquid nitrogen on skin growths freezes the cancerous or pre-cancerous skin cells. The frozen cells blister, crust over and fall off.
- Topical Medication: Applying topical medication can be helpful if the cancer is only in the outermost layer of the skin. When the medication is applied, your body makes a natural chemical that kills the cancerous cells.
- Curettage and Electrodessication: This two-part procedure involves cutting off the cancerous skin cells, then removing any lingering cells with an electrocautery needle. The needle also slows bleeding.
- Surgical Excision: Your dermatologist uses a scalpel to remove the skin cancer, along with a margin of healthy cells. He or she will also send a tissue sample to a laboratory for testing. If cancer cells remain, you may need additional surgery.
- Mohs Surgery: This innovative surgery removes skin layer by layer. After one layer is removed, your dermatologist examines it under a microscope. If he or she sees cancer cells, another layer will be removed. The procedure continues until all of the cancerous cells are gone. Mohs surgery reduces scarring and damage to healthy skin. It's used to treat basal and squamous cell skin cancers and melanoma, in some cases.
Are you concerned that you may have skin cancer? Your dermatologists in Muskogee and Tulsa, OK, Dr. Alison Fisher and Dr. Fisher, can help you find the ideal skin cancer treatment and surgery if you are diagnosed with skin cancer. Schedule an appointment with Southside Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center by calling (918) 760-0700 for the Tulsa office or (918) 840-5276 for the Muskogee office.