Skin Cancer Surgery
Testimonial"The office is in a easy to get to location, was clean and fantastically decorated. The staff was polite and efficient. Dr. Downie was personable and made diagnosis and treatment plan. The diagnosis was the most indepth that I had ever received and everything was explained to me. The treatment plan addressed all my concerns. The products are great and I see results already. I feel confident that my skin is now under the right care."
~ Joya L. ~
Skin cancer a real problem in our country
Every year, approximately 3.7 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer. That figure is on the rise and Dr. Downie believes it will continue to increase as thousands of young women and men choose to subject themselves to the hazards of tanning beds. Additionally less than 30 percent of Americans wear sun block on a regular basis. Skin cancer is serious, and is the most common form of cancer in the United States. People need to be aware of their skin and notice if a mole is changing; if a bump or nodule appears or is not healing properly.
Total body checks are extremely important in catching skin cancer in its early stages, before other organs are involved. Everyone needs a total skin surface check at least once a year by a board certified dermatologist. If you have a history of skin cancer, you must come in more frequently for a total body check. Dr. Downie offers total body skin checks, from scalp to toes, and spends time educating her patients about the importance of wearing sun block and taking good care of their skin.
Skin cancer surgery an excellent solution
Dr. Downie provides very precise dermatologic care to patients from Montclair and surrounding areas. If a suspicious lesion is detected, a biopsy is taken and sent to the pathology lab. The biopsy procedure is a quick and simple taking of a skin sample. We numb the patient with a needle, take a skin sample and either suture or stop the bleeding with a chemical. If the pathology report identifies cancerous cells in the sample, an excision procedure will be scheduled to remove the mole or growth.
The excision of a cancerous lesion takes place in our office after the area has been numbed with local anesthetic. Excisions are comfortable for the patient. Incisions are made around the mole or growth based on the visualization of its borders, and Dr. Downie moves inward to ensure the entirety of the growth is removed. After removal, incisions are closed with sutures and a dressing may be applied.
Recovering from the excision of a cancerous mole or growth may be different for each patient. The extent of recovery is largely based on the size and area of the growth. During your appointment with Dr. Downie, she will discuss the steps that can be taken to facilitate a comfortable, uncomplicated healing process. Dr. Downie recommends cleaning the area with peroxide and keeping it covered with Bionect or Biafine (2 prescription antibacterials) and a bandaid.
The risks associated with excision of skin cancer include pain, bleeding, or infection of the wound and scarring. It is also possible that, if a skin graft is placed, the graft will not heal appropriately. Lastly, excision may not completely remove all cancer cells. Your dermatologist has extensive training and experience treating the various types of skin cancer. Using a great deal of precision, Dr. Downie strives to achieve the best outcome in a single treatment.
Where can skin cancer occur?
The most common types of skin cancer are associated with sun exposure. Therefore, common places for non-melanoma skin cancers include the scalp, ears, nose, lips, face, shoulders, arms, and hands. Melanoma skin cancer can occur anywhere on the body, including areas not regularly exposed to UV rays. Unusual places for melanoma to show up include the palms of the hands, soles of the feetand in the genitalia.
Will my skin cancer come back after treatment? While there is no guarantee that any skin cancer removal is 100 percent effective, most people do not experience the recurrence of skin cancer in the same growth. It is important, however, to remain vigilant about sun protection and skin examinations after a skin cancer has been treated. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that those who have developed one skin cancer are more likely to develop more in the future.
What can I do to protect myself from skin cancer?
Skin cancer is a problem of increasing proportions in our country. However, the power to prevent skin cancer lies in each individual. Dr. Downie discusses skin cancer at length with her patients and advises them on the best protocol for sun protection. The daily application and reapplication of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least anspf of 30 and above is a key component to skin health. Dr. Downie also teaches patients how to perform monthly self-examinations so that suspicious lesions are quickly identified. Professional skin examinations should be scheduled in our office at least yearly. Patients who have been treated for skin cancer should return every six months or sooner.
If you have noticed moles or skin tags that have changed in size, shape, or color, that itch or are painful and want to have a complete body check to diagnose possible problems, call Dr. Downie's Montclair dermatology office today. Put your skin in her capable hands when you schedule a skin cancer screening.
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