Approximately 9,500 Americans receive a skin cancer diagnosis every day, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Skin cancer can range from benign growths to malignant tumors, which is why it’s important to find a dermatologist you can trust to protect your health. At Idaho Skin Institute in Chubbuck, Burley, and Rexburg, Idaho, a team of dermatologists use evidence-based methods to diagnose, treat, and prevent skin cancer in individuals of all ages. To schedule a visit, call Idaho Skin Institute, or book an appointment online today. Telehealth appointments are available.
Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells that form both benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous) growths on the skin. While healthy skin cells grow and divide at an average rate, cancer cells grow and divide rapidly, leading to tumors in the skin.
When diagnosed early, skin cancer is treatable. However, this potentially deadly disease can advance quickly without the right care.
There are three main types of skin cancer that the expert dermatologists at Idaho Skin Institute treat:
Basal cell carcinomas typically develop on sun-exposed parts of your body, particularly the head and neck. They often resemble sores or growths on the skin that won’t heal. These slow-growing lesions can be flat, raised, scaly, red, brown, or blue. Some BCCs even look like waxy scars.
Squamous cell carcinomas are similar to BCCs in appearance, though they may itch and hurt. Many SCCs start as a dome-shaped bump or scaly red patch of skin. What sets squamous cell carcinomas apart from BCCs is that they sit below the skin’s surface and function as the skin’s inner lining, so they can spread to the tissues, bones, and lymph nodes.
Melanoma is a potentially deadly form of skin cancer that starts in the melanocyte cells in the skin. When melanocytes form together, they can create cancerous moles on the skin. Melanoma can develop anywhere on the body, including areas that don’t see much sun exposure.
The dermatologists at Idaho Skin Institute provide free cancer screenings once a month to detect early signs of skin cancer. During these screenings, a dermatologist examines abnormal lesions and moles on your body. They look for:
If the dermatologist suspects you have a cancerous lesion, they may take a small sample of the growth through a biopsy for lab testing.
How the team at Idaho Skin Institute treats skin cancer depends on the type you have. Because both basal and squamous cell carcinomas are slow-growing cancers, they’re typically treated with Mohs surgery.
Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure in which your dermatologist removes cancerous tissue layer by layer. This procedure is 99% successful at eliminating any signs of BCCs and SCCs, and it also has proven to be effective in some melanoma cases.
Melanoma is an invasive cancer that may require additional treatment. In addition to excisional surgery, you may need chemotherapy, radiation, or additional surgeries if the cancer has spread to your tissues, bones, or lymph nodes.
When caught early, you can fully recover from skin cancer. To schedule a screening with a dermatologist, call Idaho Skin Institute, or book an appointment online today.