When skin cancer is diagnosed in its earliest stages, it is a highly treatable condition. Unfortunately, some of those treatments will result in quite a bit of scarring, and that can greatly impact a patient’s confidence. If you have recently been diagnosed with skin cancer, then you might want to contact a dermatologist in Pasadena, CA to discuss which procedures are going to preserve the most healthy tissue. In recent years, Mohs surgery has become extremely popular, and that procedure can result in complete cancer removal with minimal scarring.
When to See a Doctor
Skin cancer can take place at any age, and many people begin developing cancerous cells in their teenage years and as young adults. That is why it is so important for everyone to keep an eye out for the early warning signs of this disease. As a general rule, you should look over your entire body for growths or spots at least once every few months. In the vast majority of cases, discoloration isn’t a sign of skin cancer, but you should track all of the growths. If they become larger or discolored, then you must immediately seek out a doctor.
It is also important to contact Dr. Hung or another dermatologist in Pasadena if your growths begin to itch, weep, or bleed. Those are all clear signs that the skin is becoming damaged and needs to be looked at by a professional. To test for skin cancer, your doctor will most likely take a small sample of tissue that can be sent off to a lab.
Skin Cancer Treatments
There are many different treatments for skin cancer, and each procedure has its own pros and cons. As long as the cancer is caught early on, then Dr. Hung should be able to remove the damaged tissue. That removal will prevent the cancerous cells from spreading to other areas of the body. Depending on the type of cancer that the patient has, the surgeon might also suggest radiation or chemotherapy to eradicate any remaining cancerous cells.
Benefits of Mohs Surgery
While many skin cancer treatments have very high success rates, they can have a major impact on a patient’s appearance. When the cancerous cells are removed, patients are often left with very large wounds that take months to heal and leave massive scars. Mohs surgery is a cutting-edge procedure that allows surgeons to fully remove the cancerous cells while preserving as much of the healthy tissue as possible.
Mohs surgery can be completed in an outpatient center with nothing more than a local anesthetic, and the entire procedure often takes no more than 20 or 30 minutes. Following your appointment, you might notice some swelling and bruising, but that should disappear after a few weeks. Once the area has begun to heal, you will need to schedule a follow-up appointment to ensure that all of the cancerous tissue is gone. That process must be repeated every few weeks until no more cancerous cells can be detected.