Most skin cancers are a locally destructive growth of the skin. However, the majority of these diseases are detected before they spread. Abnormal skin growth usually starts from the epidermis, the most superficial part of the skin. Except for cutaneous malignant melanoma, it’s rare for skin cancers to metastasize from the skin to other parts of the body. There are three major types of skin cancer. These include

  1. Basal cell carcinoma
  2. Squamous cell carcinoma
  3. Melanoma

The basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin disorder and represents about 80% of all skin disorders. It’s followed by squamous cell carcinoma, then melanoma. Melanoma originates from the pigment-producing cells, also known as the melanocytes. Although melanoma is the least common of the three diseases, it’s the most lethal. Examples of other types of skin cancer include lymphoma, Merkel cell cancers, sarcomas and so on. Before reviewing the special procedure used in treating the diseases, it’s important to know some important things about the common types of skin cancer.

What Is Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma is one of the most predominant types of skin cancer. It presents as a painless disorder of the skin. The affected area of the skin is usually raised, and shiny with tiny blood vessels over it. This might also present as a skin ulcer. This disease is a slow and progressive and has the ability to damage the surrounding tissues. However, basal cell carcinoma doesn’t have the ability to migrate to distant parts of the body or result in death. There are some factors that increase the chances of developing this disease. Some of these factors include ultraviolet rays, people with lighter skin, prolonged exposure to chemicals such as arsenic, and a weak or poor immune system. Another growing factor that could increase the chances of developing this disease is tanning beds. These are beds, that people utilize to achieve a darker skin tone. This disease can be diagnosed through different means. Some of these include by physical examination and also confirming the diagnosis by performing a tissue biopsy of the affected region. Some of the ways of preventing and protecting yourself against this disease are by making use of sunscreen. This acts as a protection of the skin against excess ultraviolet rays. The methods of treatment of basal cell carcinoma include the application of cold, topical chemotherapy, laser surgery and so on. Targeted therapy and chemotherapy have also proved effective, especially on rare occasions where the disease has spread to distant parts of the body.

What Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

This is one of the most common causes of skin cancer. It usually develops in the squamous cells of the outer and middle layer of the skin. It mostly occurs in parts of the skin that has been injured by Ultra-violet rays. Avoiding a prolonged exposure to Ultra-violet rays helps to decrease the risk of having squamous cell carcinoma.  Areas commonly exposed to the sun include the neck, arms, legs head, hands and so on. This disease is a progressive type of cancer, that grows slowly over time. It also has the ability to spread to other tissues of the body. Common areas affected are the bones, tissues, and surrounding lymph nodes. There are some factors that increase the chances of developing this disease. Some of the factors include old age, gender, type of skin, exposure to sunlight and so on. This cancer becomes difficult to treat when it starts metastasizing. The prognosis of the disease is always better when diagnosed early.

What Is Melanoma?

Melanoma is the most dangerous cancer that affects the skin. Melanoma develops in the melanin producing-cells. Melanin is a pigment that is responsible for the color of the skin. However, some people have more melanin than other people. Melanoma predominantly develops in the skin, but it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the eyes, and the internal organs of the body, such as the intestines. This tumor can grow in different parts of the body, in females, it mostly affects the leg, while it predominantly affects the back of males. The exact cause of melanoma isn’t known yet, although some factors have identified to be responsible for the growth of this tumor. Ultraviolet radiation is one of the most important factors. The exposure of the body to high-intensity radiations, from the sun, or tanning machines, increases the risk of having melanoma. In addition, the amount of melanin an individual has a connection to melanoma. As an illustration, it has been discovered that those with a low amount of melanin are more predisposed to developing melanoma. On the other hand, those with high amounts of melanin have a low chance of having melanoma. Also, melanoma can also develop from moles.

What Is Mohs Micrographic Surgery?

Physicians use the Mohs micrographic surgery for the treatment of skin cancer. It is considered one of the most effective ways of treating skin cancer. The purpose of this type of surgery is to extract and eliminate the growth from the skin while saving as much healthy tissue as possible. The different layers of skin are removed and viewed under the microscope until all the cancer tissues have been removed. The Mohs micrographic surgery significantly reduces any need for surgery or treatments in the future.

Can You Have Mohs Surgery For Melanoma?

The Mohs surgery is been used more as an alternative to standard excision for some types of melanoma. As earlier, the layers of the skin are excised and examined under the microscope for the presence of cancer tissues and cells, till they’re all removed. However, this procedure is most commonly used for the treatment of basal and squamous cell carcinoma.

How Is Mohs Surgery Performed?

The Mohs surgery is performed in the operating room, that has a laboratory. This enables the surgeon to examine the tissues under the microscope, once removed. This procedure usually lasts for an average of four hours, and the patient can return home the same day. The surgeon would remove parts of the cancer growth that can be seen with a scalpel, then put on a temporary badge, before it’s taken to the laboratory for evaluation. Analyzing the tissues might take some hours, but excising them from the skin takes just minutes.

Dermatologist Near Me

You should contact a dermatologist if you notice any abnormal growth on your skin. A physician can form a diagnosis and prescribe the right treatment and procedure.

References

LARSON, M. and TAYLOR, R. (2004). Monitoring Vital Signs during Outpatient Mohs and Post-Mohs Reconstructive Surgery Performed under Local Anesthesia. Dermatologic Surgery, 30(5), pp.777-783.

Monheit, G. (2013). Commentary: Mohs Micrographic Surgery Concordance Between Mohs Surgeons and Dermatopathologists. Dermatologic Surgery, 39(11), pp.1652-1653.

Semkova, K., Mallipeddi, R., Robson, A. and Palamaras, I. (2013). Mohs Micrographic Surgery Concordance Between Mohs Surgeons and Dermatopathologists. Dermatologic Surgery, 39(11), pp.1648-1652.