Skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States, is preventable and easier to detect than other cancers because it can be seen on the skin and caught early with visual skin examination.
Prevention and early detection are key. Protecting yourself from overexposure to ultraviolet light, be it the sun or a tanning bed, is crucial.Things to look for on your skin that may be concerning for skin cancer include the following: pink to red, scaly or bleeding spots/ growths that don’t resolve in weeks to months, and new or changing moles with irregular shapes or colors.
The two most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. They can usually be cured without risk to your overall health if treated expeditiously. The gold standard treatment for these common skin cancers, especially if they occur in cosmetically sensitive areas, is called Mohs micrographic surgery. This is an outpatient procedure done under local anesthesia. All performed in one day, this surgical technique allows precise removal of the skin cancer, along with rapid evaluation under the microscope, to ensure complete removal of the cancer and repair of the skin while minimizing scarring.
Since not all Mohs surgeons have equivalent training and level of skill, make sure to ask if your Mohs surgeon is fellowship trained. Mohs fellowships are highly selective programs, include 1-2 years additional post-dermatology residency training, and require a minimum of 500 post-residency surgical cases, especially the most difficult cancers.
Be diligent to avoid overexposure to ultraviolet light even in the cooler months, and give Benson Dermatology a call if you see a changing or suspicious lesion on your skin.
Nick Frank, MD
• Board Certified Dermatology
• Board Certified Micrographic Dermatologic Surgery
• Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology
• Associate member of the American College of Mohs Surgery
• Member of American Society of Dermatologic Surgery
• ACMS Trained Fellow in Dermatologic Oncology & Micrographic Surgery