Skin cancer is being diagnosed at an alarming rate. Fairer skin types are certainly at a higher risk of being diagnosed, but every skin type is at risk, especially in the “Sunshine State”. Basal Cell Carcinoma (the most common skin cancer), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and Malignant Melanoma (MM) are the most common types of skin cancer diagnosed in the United States. SCC and MM can be life threatening with the potential to spread (metastases).
Skin exams and patient education are especially important for early diagnosis of skin cancers. We offer full skin exams and have dermatoscopes to help identify suspicious lesions. The ABCDE’s of moles and melanoma, recommendation of sunscreens and sun avoidance and being educated on self skin exams are part of our routine skin cancer exams. It is always recommended to ask for a gown for your full skin exam and ask questions about the ABCDE’s, sunscreens and to have all areas that concern the individual patient examined.
Frozen section margin control surgery– is where the pathologist comes to our office at the time of surgery with a mobile laboratory and checks the edges of the specimen to ensure the cancer has been totally removed. The cure rates are very high with this technique. Once the cancer has been removed and the margins clear, then the board certified dermatologist repairs the wound. Drs. Armstrong and Bondar have many years experience performing this technique and repairing all sorts of wounds. We also have relationships with plastic surgeons if needed to get you the most appropriate care you need.
We also offer a non-surgical treatment for certain non-melanoma skin cancers called SRT. SRT is a low level radiation therapy whereby the skin cancer is treated usually twice a week for 7 weeks (13 treatments total for most cases). The results have been remarkable with extremely high success rates and wonderful cosmetic outcomes. Patients have been universally thrilled to have their skin cancers treated without cutting, bleeding, disfigurement, stitches, infection and pain more commonly seen with traditional surgical approaches. Certain skin cancers can be treated by lightly scraping and burning them away (Electrodessication and Curettage) or even prescription creams. (Imiquimod, 5-Fluorouracil).
View our Before and After Images of patients who used the SRT treatment for their skin cancer.
Skin exams should be done annually for most in Florida. If you have a history of skin cancer or extensive sun exposure, then every 3-6 month exams may be prudent.