About Skin Cancer
Having healthy skin is part of your total wellness, which is why it's essential to have annual professional skin exams to check for any irregularities. If you have spent any time in the sun, there's a chance that you could develop skin cancer at some point in your lifetime. The good news is that the majority of skin cancers are highly treatable when detected early. In the event that you develop a cancerous mole or skin lesion, the team at Lone Star State Dermatology Clinic offers full-body skin evaluations and advanced techniques to treat skin cancer. If you have noticed any unusual skin changes, or if it's been a while since your last dermatology exam, please schedule an appointment for a skin consultation with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jean-Denis Boucher in San Antonio, TX.
Types of Skin Cancer
At Lone Star State Dermatology Clinic, we treat the three main types of skin cancer, including:
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC): This is the most common form of skin cancer, which tends to develop in fair-skinned individuals, especially on the face, neck, and arms. BCC may appear as a flesh-colored or pearl-like growth or a reddish skin patch. In some cases, BCCs crust, bleed, or ooze. They are fairly simple to treat when caught early on.
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC): SCC can appear as a red patch that feels scaly, as well as a wart-like growth or a firm, red bump. Sometimes, they are like a scab or sore that won't heal. SCCs should be removed as soon as possible to avoid spreading or other complications.
- Melanoma: As the most serious form of skin cancer, melanoma typically appears as a new mole or as a change to an existing mole. If you have noticed an evolving mole that exhibits any unusual signs in color, border, diameter, or symmetry, schedule a dermatology exam as soon as possible. When diagnosed in the initial stages, melanoma is treatable.
How Is Skin Cancer Treated?
When you come in for your appointment, Dr. Boucher will perform a full skin assessment to determine your diagnosis. A biopsy may be ordered to find out whether an area of concern is cancerous or benign. Once we receive your results, we may ask you to return to our San Antonio, TX office for a follow-up visit so that Dr. Boucher can discuss your treatment options, including:
- Superficial radiation therapy: An effective, nonsurgical treatment performed in our office to treat basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
- Surgical excision: After administering a local anesthetic, Dr. Boucher will use a scalpel to cut out cancerous growths, including moles and lesions.
- Electrodesiccation and curettage (ED&C): To remove the cancerous tissue, the affected skin will be scraped using a fine instrument. This simple technique is used for patients who do not need more invasive methods.
- Mohs surgery: This outpatient procedure is typically used to remove squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas, especially in sensitive regions, like the ears, mouth, or nose. Dr. Boucher will use a scalpel to remove a thin layer of the tissue, which is then examined in our lab. He will repeat the process until all the cancer cells are taken out.
Your specific treatment and follow-up care may vary, depending on your specific case of skin cancer. Through advanced, customized interventions for skin cancer, we are here to provide the best care possible so you can regain your peace of mind.
Skin Cancer Treatment FAQ
Is skin cancer curable?
If caught early enough, skin cancer is highly curable by removing the cancerous cells with a bit of normal-looking skin to ensure the cancer cells have been fully addressed.
What is the most common treatment for skin cancer?
For most skin cancers, surgery is the main treatment. This entails using a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area, and then the doctor will remove the affected skin. This is an outpatient procedure, meaning you’ll be able to go home after the procedure.
How successful is skin cancer treatment?
When caught early, skin cancer treatments are very effective, and the success rate is almost 90% of patients with non-melanoma skin cancer.
Are there other treatments for skin cancer?
Yes, in addition to surgery, other skin cancer treatments include:
- Cryotherapy (freezing)
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT)
- Anti-cancer creams and ointments
What is the survival rate of skin cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, the five-year relative survival rate of melanoma skin cancer is very high, with an overall average of 93%.
Schedule an Exam Today
Skin cancer may sound scary, but the condition is easily treatable when caught early enough. Dr. Boucher provides dermatology exams and customized treatment options for men and women who have basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or melanoma. If you have noticed a suspicious spot, we encourage you to contact Lone Star State Dermatology Clinic in San Antonio, TX to book an appointment.