A Few Commonly Asked Questions About Skin Cancer

Posted on: 23 June 2016

Skin cancer is a potentially lethal condition that many people will be unfortunate enough to develop. For those that are relatively ill-informed about this condition, it may be beneficial to have a few basic but important questions so that you will be better prepared for what to expect from this condition.

How Is Skin Cancer Diagnosed?

If you have an area of skin that has recently develop a growth or changed colors, you should have it examined by your dermatologist. To determine whether or not the problem is cancerous, they will likely need to perform a biopsy of the skin cells. This will involve removing a small sample of the skin so that it can be tested for the presence of cancerous cells. You can expect to have a local anesthesia administered prior to the biopsy to minimize any discomfort that you may feel.

Will Skin Cancer Always Need To Be Treated By Chemotherapy?

If you are unfortunate enough to receive a positive diagnosis for skin cancer, it is important to understand that you may have a range of treatment options. Depending on the stage and location of the cancer, it may be possible for you to undergo Mohs surgery. During this procedure, the cancerous skin cells will be removed in a gradual fashion. After each layer of skin has been removed, a test will be done to determine whether cancerous cells are still present. This process is repeated until there are no signs of the cancerous cells. Once this procedure is completed, an additional biopsy may be taken to help confirm whether the cancer has been removed. You will also likely need to make follow-up visits in the months following this procedure to help ensure that the growth is not returning.

How Can You Protect Yourself Against Developing Skin Cancer?

Fortunately, it is possible to help protect yourself against the risk of developing skin cancer. In particular, it is important for you to ensure that you protect your skin against sun damage. While this may see obvious on a sunny day, many people overlook the fact that the sun's harmful rays are able to penetrate cloud cover. This can expose your skin to the risk of sustaining damage that can place you at a higher risk of developing cancer. As a result, it is important for you to ensure that you apply sunscreen and minimize your time outside during the times of the day when the sun is the strongest regardless of whether the sun is shining or it is cloudy.

For more information, contact Dermatology Surgery Center or a similar location.