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At Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital, our professionally trained doctors have a keen eye for detecting the seriousness of a disease and always asses the best ways to treat it.
If you have spent a lot of time in the sun and you see signs of skin cancer, you must take action as soon as possible, even if it is relatively easy to cure. Although it doesn’t immediately endanger your health, cancer can spread to other parts of the body and cause extensive damage.
Skin cancer usually develops when the patient has spent a lot of time in the sun and his skin has suffered extreme exposure to UV rays. It can be usually found on the head, neck, and shoulder but can appear anywhere on the body. If they are cancerous, the cells will begin to grow out of control and damage the organs. There are 3 different types of skin cancer, depending on which layer it began forming.
Skin cancer surgery is the procedure in which the doctor removes the diseased cells from the skin, making sure there aren’t any left, to avoid recurrence.
There are three surgical techniques that can be used, depending on the type of cancer. Usually, the patient is put under local anesthesia. The first type of surgery is excision. The diseased skin and a small portion of healthy tissue are cut out with a scalpel. After this, the skin is stitched back together. The second one is curettage and electrodesiccation, where the skin is scraped off and then it is treated with an electric needle to destroy any possible remaining cancer cells. The last type of surgery is called Mohs surgery. If the cancer is near critical areas, this procedure is used to save as much tissue as possible. The surgeon cuts a very thin layer of skin and puts it under the microscope to look for diseased cells. This process repeats until there are no traces of cancer seen.
There are many benefits to removing skin cancer, especially through the Mohs surgery:
The recovery period after surgery is a short one. People usually can go back to work the next day after the procedure. Mild pain medication will be required to minimize any kind of post-operative discomfort. It is also advised that for at least 21 days, strenuous exercise to be avoided and sun screen to be used when going outside.
Although this is an easy surgery, there are always risks involved when treating cancer. The wound might get infected and if not treated properly it could bleed heavily. Because these procedures can be rough on the skin tissue, the scars can get big and be painful to the touch. There have been cases in which, because the cancer was located in multiple layers, the patient suffered permanent nerve damage and numbness in the area.
Even if this disease isn’t as dangerous or as aggressive as other forms of cancer, like lung or liver cancer, it can still pose a very real threat. It is uncommon to spread to other organs, but it can still happen. If you or a loved one discover any signs of skin cancer call us at 888.600.5600 to get a consultation and receive the appropriate treatment.