By the age of 70, about 20% of people in the United States will get skin cancer. While the diagnosis can be an unpleasant surprise, Mayha Patel, DO, FAAD, can assess your skin and provide safe, often quick treatment for skin cancer at CoCo Dermatology and Cosmetics in Westlake Village, California. Mohs surgery is available for certain skin cancers and preserves as much healthy surrounding tissue as possible. If you see an unusual or changing spot or mole, call or schedule an appointment online right away.
Skin cancer is the most common of all types of cancer and can affect you regardless of your skin tone or type. People with fair skin, those who spend a lot of time in the sunlight, and those who have a family history of skin cancer are at the highest risk.
There are a few different types of skin cancer, all of which develop when your skin cells grow abnormally. The three major types are:
SCC originates in the squamous cells, which are elongated cells in the upper portion of the epidermis. This type usually grows in sun-exposed areas like your face or arms.
BCC affects the basal cells, which are located in the deeper part of your epidermis. This type also occurs in sun-exposed areas. Both BCC and SCC are very common and usually highly treatable.
Melanoma is a riskier type of skin cancer than SCC and BCC. It originates in your melanocytes, which are the cells that give your skin its color. It can affect regular skin or moles that you already have on your body.
Dr. Patel encourages you to evaluate your skin regularly for indications of skin cancer. Skin cancer can result in various changes to your skin’s appearance or texture and often appears as a distinct lesion or spot.
Skin cancer can also alter the appearance of a mole or spot that you already have. You should watch for moles, spots, and lesions that:
Not all moles or spots are cancerous, even if they change slightly in appearance. It’s important to report changes to Dr. Patel just in case so she can evaluate it. To test a lesion for cancerous cells, she may take a biopsy.
As long as the skin cancer hasn’t metastasized, or spread, skin cancer is fairly easy to treat. Treatment for skin cancer often involves a minor surgical procedure, like cryosurgery or excision.
At CoCo Dermatology and Cosmetics, Dr. Patel specializes in treating BCC, SCC, and some cases of melanoma with Mohs surgery. Mohs surgery is unique in that it preserves more healthy skin around the cancerous lesion than other techniques. It also has a high cure rate.
During Mohs surgery, Dr. Patel removes one very thin layer of the lesion and examines it under a microscope while you wait in the office. After examining the cells up close, she comes back to remove another layer according to the location of the cancer under the microscope. She repeats this process until there are no remaining detectable cancer cells.
To schedule a skin cancer evaluation and learn more about treatment for skin cancer, call CoCo Dermatology and Cosmetics or book online today.