Skin cancer is the most common malignancy diagnosed in the United States each year. Interestingly, there are more skin cancers diagnosed each year than all other cancers combined. More than 4 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. Fortunately, with early detection and treatment, skin cancer has a very high cure rate. If you are concerned about any new or changing lesions on your skin, please schedule an evaluation by one of our providers immediately.
Depending on the type of skin cancer, our providers with guide you through the process and select the most appropriate treatment plan for your situation. Common treatments include surgical removal with excision, Mohs micrographic surgery or topical chemotherapy creams. We also offer several treatment options for pre-cancerous changes of the skin including “freezing” also known as liquid nitrogen, topical chemotherapy creams or Red-Light Therapy (photodynamic therapy).
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common skin cancer and may occur at any age with a marked increase in frequency over the age of 30. However, the incidence of BCC in younger patients is becoming more common possibly as a result of increased sun exposure and tanning bed use. It is more common in people with fair skin type. Risk factors include cumulative sun exposure and prior ionizing radiation. BCC is most commonly found on the face, scalp, ears, and neck but not excluded to those.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer, accounting for about 20 percent of all skin cancer cases. Although more aggressive than basal cell carcinoma, this cancer is highly treatable. Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as nodules or red, scaly patches of skin, and may be found on the face, ears, lips, and mouth. Squamous cell carcinoma can spread to other parts of the body. This type of skin cancer is usually found on the head, neck, hands and legs of elderly patients. These skin cancers can develop from a precursor actinic keratosis.
Melanoma is the most dangerous and aggressive form of skin cancer. It accounts for the second most deaths related to a human cancer. It is the most common malignancy in young women ages 25-29 and second most common in women ages 30-35. The incidence continues to rise. It is potentially curable with a very early detection and treatment; however, a late diagnosis of melanoma carries a very poor prognosis. Melanoma is variable in presentation; however, the ABCDs are typically a good rule to follow in terms of a suspicious lesion. Early signs include increase in size, shape, or change in color. Risk factors include fair skin, multiple atypical moles, a personal or family history of melanoma, or history of a blistering sunburn. Additionally, studies have shown that people who use tanning beds have approximately 4x higher chance of developing melanoma. Thus, it is very important to always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen and receive an annual skin cancer screening.
A – Asymmetry (one half of the lesion doesn't match the other half)
B – Borders (irregular shaped)
C – Color (varying colors or very dark in color)
D – Diameter (> 6 mm)
Skin Cancer Treatment
Our practice has a wide variety of skin cancer treatments depending on what your needs are.
- Cryotherapy/Freezing/Liquid Nitrogen: This treatment freezes and removes cancer cells.
- Mohs Skin Cancer Surgery: Mohs micrographic surgery is a specific type of skin cancer removal procedure performed by specially-trained dermatologists. This technique offers the highest cure rates for skin cancer; however, it is not indicated for every skin cancer. See our Mohs Surgery Section for more information
- Red Light Therapy: This therapy uses both topical and light devices to eradicate skin cancer spots and cells.
- Topical Chemotherapy Creams: We apply various creams where cancer is present.
- Surgical Removal with Excision: Similar to Mohs, we remove the tumor and skin tissue around the infected cells.
We are Skin Cancer Professionals that are dedicated to providing you with the best cutting-edge skin cancer treatment. We are one of the only Nashville offices with a Fellowship Trained Mohs surgeon, we can provide you the services you need to win your fight against cancer.