Candela and Schreier Surgical Group
Surgical Oncologists & Robotic Surgery Specialists located in West Hills, CA serving the San Fernando Valley
Skin cancer is incredibly common, affecting more Americans each year than all other types of cancer combined. If you find yourself among those receiving a skin cancer diagnosis, Dr. Frank Candela and Dr. David Schreier of West Valley Surgeons, in West Hills, California, while also serving the San Fernando Valley, can help you choose a treatment path that’s right for you. Online scheduling allows you to book your visit 24 hours a day, or you’re always welcome to reach out to the office staff by phone to check appointment availability.
Skin Cancer Q & A
There are numerous types of skin cancer, but the most common are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
Basal cell carcinoma
This is the most common type of skin cancer. It can occur on any part of your body, but is most commonly found on the arms, neck, and head. These cancers initially appear as a pinkish or flesh colored bump on your skin.
Squamous cell carcinoma
This type of skin cancer is most commonly found on areas of the body that receive the most sun exposure. These cancers often resemble a firm red bump or sore and can sometimes go through a cycle of bleeding and healing.
This type of skin cancer often develops in an existing mole, but can occur on a seemingly normal area of skin. Diagnosing and treating melanoma early is important, as it can be deadly if allowed to spread.
There are also several other less common skin cancer types.
Ultraviolet light is the leading cause of all types of skin cancer. Spending time in the sun might feel great at the beach or on a warm summer day, but your risk of skin cancer rises. It appears that the risk is cumulative when it comes to basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, while your risk of melanoma is higher if you suffered severe sunburns as a child.
Ultraviolet light from artificial sources like tanning beds is just as harmful as UV light from the sun. You should also know that the sun’s rays can harm your skin even during the winter months and on cloudy days.
Basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas have several treatment options, including:
- Laser therapy, using concentrated light to burn off cancerous cells
- Electrodesiccation and curettage, using physical scraping and electrical current to remove cancerous cells
- Chemotherapy or other drug therapy
- Cryosurgery, using cold temperatures to destroy cancerous cells
Another great treatment option for non-melanoma cancers is Mohs surgery, a process that entails scraping away very thin layers of tissue until a cancer-free layer is reached.
Treating melanoma requires a more aggressive approach, and might include:
- Wide surgical excision, removing a significant amount of tissue around the cancerous cells
To learn more about skin cancer diagnostics and treatment, book a visit online or by phone at your earliest convenience.