Skin Cancer Treatment Jacksonville, FL
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. Some studies have shown that up to 20% of Americans will contract skin cancer during their lifetimes. Luckily, if it is detected early, it is very treatable. Once you have skin cancer, however, you are much more susceptible to developing another skin cancer. As with most health issues, the best defense against skin cancer is prevention. Make sure to examine your skin on a monthly basis and go for checkups with your doctor every year.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinomas affect more people than any other type of skin cancer. Basal cells are a type of cell located at the base of the epidermis, which is the top layer of skin. When you get too much sun, ultraviolet radiation can trigger DNA changes within the basal cells that can eventually lead to basal cell carcinoma. Luckily, carcinomas develop slowly and do not spread as easily as other skin cancers. It is best to use sunscreen when out in the sun and avoid tanning beds and other treatments that use radiation.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
As opposed to basal cells, squamous cells are located at a higher level within the epidermis. Squamous cell carcinoma affects approximately 250,000 Americans each year, with 1% of those cases resulting in death. Squamous cells can be found anywhere on the body, but most commonly develop on the ears, face, and the backs of hands. Again, sun exposure is a big risk factor for this type of skin cancer, so taking precautions when out in the sun is the best way to prevent squamous cell carcinoma.
Treatments for Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Carcinomas
Depending on the nature of the carcinoma, there are several treatment options available. These include:
- Mohs Micrographic Surgery
- Radiation Therapy
- Surgical Excision
- Curettage and Desiccation
- Prescription Creams
Your doctor can decide which treatment is best, based on the location of the tumor, how large it is, and other factors such as your medical history.
Melanoma is the third most common type of skin cancer but is more concerning than the others in that it has more potential to spread or metastasize to other parts of the body. Melanomas are cancers that arise from melanocytes, which are the pigment producing cells of the skin. If detected early in onset, melanomas are very treatable. Regular skin examinations are vital for early detection of melanomas.