Detection & Treatment
The most important aspect in detecting skin cancer is a thorough visual examination of your skin from your scalp to the bottom of your feet. This examination requires the trained eye of a Board Certified Dermatologist, and you should expect it to be done in the same detailed manner as your family physician doing a complete physical examination.
There are many types of skin cancer. The majority of these are caused by sun damage we received by the time we were in our late teenage years. What is important to realize is that sometimes skin cancer is not very obvious, unless for example you have a spot that either bleeds or is not healing. A Dermatologist is also trained to look for the subtle findings, so as to find a skin cancer at the earliest possible time and recommend appropriate treatment.
Often people may think “how bad can skin cancer be since it is only on the skin?” The fact is some skin cancers can spread to other parts of the body and cause harm. Therefore, early detection and treatment is especially important in these cases.
The proper choice of treatment for a particular skin cancer is also important in determining your highest cure rate. Treatments range from various types of surgical procedures, including microscopically controlled surgery (Mohs surgery) to other methods that adhere to the guidelines of the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology and the American Academy of Dermatology. Routine follow-up and full skin exams are an integral part of continuing care. The doctor can monitor for recurrence of skin cancers and check for any new skin cancers. These followup exams should be individualized for each patient based upon an analysis of family and past/present dermatologic history.
The main point to remember is this: what you do not see could potentially be harmful.