How successful is skin cancer surgery?
The most common form of cancer in the United States is skin cancer, and it claims thousands of lives every year. The vast majority of cases are associated with unprotected UV exposure. Fun in the summer sun with your friends may be enough to push worries of cancer out of your mind. It’s easy to think of it as something that happens to other people – until it happens to you. A diagnosis, or even suspicion, of skin cancer can be frightening and confusing, but you are not alone. You have a caring, compassionate, highly skilled dermatologist on your side. Dr. Downie is a member of the Skin Cancer Foundation, and she has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer.
Time is of the essence
If you have a suspicious lesion, don’t wait to have it checked. Similarly, if you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, don’t postpone treatment. Time is one of the most important factors determining the outcome of cancer surgery. Patients who are diagnosed and treated in the early stages have excellent odds of survival. The longer you wait, the more difficult successful treatment becomes.
- Basal cell carcinoma is rarely life threatening, but it can spread to the point that it becomes disfiguring. Early treatment, before it has spread to a large area, can increase the odds of a successful surgery, and reduce the size of the scar.
- Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer in the United States. It is fatal in about two percent of cases, usually those who are diagnosed and treated in the advanced stages.
- About one third of squamous cell carcinomas and about two thirds of basal cell carcinomas develop from lesions that had been previously diagnosed as precancerous actinic keratoses.
- Melanoma is the least common and most dangerous skin cancer, claiming approximately ten thousand lives every year in the United States. It is most likely to spread to other tissues, including lymph nodes and vital organs.
- When detected early, before it has spread, melanoma has a five-year survival rate of 98 percent.
- When detected after spreading to the lymph nodes, melanoma has a five-year survival rate of 62 percent.
- When it is detected after spreading the other organs, the five-year survival rate for melanoma patients is just 15 percent.
If you have a cancerous or potentially cancerous lesion, don’t delay. Call (973) 509-6900 and schedule an appointment at Image Dermatology. We are conveniently located in Montclair, just a short drive from Glen Ridge.
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