Skin Cancer Treatment
As a Board-Certified Dermatologic Surgeon, Assistant Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai Medical Center and named a “Super Doctor” by The New York Times, Dr. Julie Russak understands the importance of caring for the skin. Melanoma is an increasingly important public health problem in the United States and worldwide. The occurrence of melanoma has been increasing faster than that of any other cancer in the United States, as well as deaths from melanoma. “The importance of diagnosing skin cancer early in its development is critical,” says Dr. Julie Russak.
Skin cancer can be cured when detected and treated early. Melanoma is almost always curable when it’s found in its very early stages. Although melanoma accounts for only a small percentage of skin cancer, it’s far more aggressive than other skin cancers and causes most skin cancer deaths.
- Deadliest form of cancer.
- Most preventable from of cancer
- One person dies of melanoma every hour.
- The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over age 50.
- Adults over age 40, especially men, have the highest annual exposure to UV.
- Women aged 39 and under have a higher probability of developing melanoma than any other cancer except breast cancer.
Melanoma Risk Factors
- Fair skin.
- A history of sunburn.
- Excessive ultraviolet (UV) exposure.
- Just 1 indoor tanning session increases users’ chances of developing melanoma by 20 percent.
- People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75 percent.
- Having many moles or unusual moles.
- A family history of melanoma.
ABCD of Melanoma
Basal Cell Carcinoma
- Most common type of Skin Cancer
- Appears as non-healing papule
- Rarely spreads to other parts of the body
Squamous Cell Carcinomas
- Second most common form of Skin Cancer
- Non-Healing Red Scaly Patches
- Can metastasize
- Result of an abnormal skin cell development due to exposure to UV radiation.
- They are considered precancerous or an early form of squamous cell carcinoma.
- They appear as multiple flat or thickened, scaly or warty, skin colored or reddened lesions.
- Freezing with liquid nitrogen
Curettage & cautery :
- Preferred with thicker keratoses.
- A scar forms which heals over a few weeks, leaving a small scar.
- is an immune response modifier in a cream base. It is applied to areas affected by actinic keratoses 2 weeks on, break for 2 weeks and then for 2 weeks again. It causes an inflammatory reaction, which is maximal at about three weeks and then gradually settles down with continued use.
5-Fluorouracil cream (Carac and Efudex):
- The cream is applied on skin once or twice daily for two to four weeks. The treated areas become red, raw and uncomfortable. Healing starts when the cream is discontinued, and the eventual result is usually excellent.
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT) involves applying a photosensitizer (ALA) to the affected area prior to exposing it to a source of RED light. The treated area develops a burn and then heals over a couple of weeks or so.
- About half of all lesions resolve after two to three days of treatment, which results in inflammation on treated areas for a week or so.