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Skin Cancer Treatment
in Scottsdale, AZ

Living in a sunny state like Arizona, you likely spend a considerable amount of time exposed to the sun. While wearing SPF sunscreens, hats, sunglasses, and protective clothing can help prevent skin cancer from developing, routine skin screenings are essential to ensure there are no abnormalities.

What Is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells and is one of the most common types of cancer. However, skin cancer has a high chance of successful treatment with early detection.

The three most common types of skin cancer are:

  • Basal cell carcinoma (BCC): Basal cell carcinoma typically looks like a pearly bump or a flesh-colored growth. It commonly occurs on the face or neck, as these areas often get sun exposure.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC): Also commonly occurring on the face or neck, squamous cell carcinoma usually looks like a red bump or scaly patch.
  • Melanoma: Often appearing as an abnormal mole or dark spot on the skin—or even within an existing mole—melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Melanoma can occur anywhere on the skin, even in areas not exposed to the sun.

What Causes
Skin Cancer?

Excessive sun exposure is the most prevalent cause of skin cancer. Although overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays is usually attributed to the sun, it can also occur if you spend time in tanning beds or under sunlamps. Sun exposure is even more dangerous if you are not wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen and protective clothing.

Other than sun exposure, other risk factors for developing skin cancer include:

  • Having a lighter skin tone
  • Frequently getting sunburns
  • Having many moles, especially atypical moles
  • Having precancerous skin lesions
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Compromised immune system
  • Radiation exposure
  • Being at a higher elevation

How Do I Know If I Have Skin Cancer?

The best way to detect skin cancer early is to have regular skin cancer screenings, especially if you are more susceptible to developing skin cancer or have a family history of it.

A skin cancer screening is a preventative measure to help identify melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell cancer in their early stages. During a skin cancer screening, a specialist examines your skin closely to see if there are any abnormal signs. If there are any abnormalities, a biopsy will be performed. The specialist will take a small sample of the skin from that area and have it tested by a pathologist. The pathologist will determine if there are cancerous cells in the skin. If no cancerous cells are present, the growth is benign and harmless. If malignant cells are present, your doctor will inform you and help by establishing a course of treatment.

Another method of testing for skin cancer is DermTech. Also known as the skin cancer sticker test, DermTech is a non-invasive method of testing for melanoma. The DermTech Melanoma Test involves placing an adhesive patch on an abnormal mole and peeling it off the skin after a few minutes. The adhesive patch painlessly collects the skin cells from the lesion’s surface. The patch is sent to the DermTech lab for analysis to detect gene markers associated with melanoma. Your doctor will receive the results from this test within three to five business days and will inform you of the results. If your results show that the mole is at risk for melanoma, then a mole biopsy will be performed.

What Are the Benefits of a Skin Cancer Screening?

Regular skin cancer screenings can help catch cancerous growths early before they have a chance to spread to other parts of the body. Once detected, skin cancer is typically easily removed, especially if it hasn’t spread yet. BCC and SCC are highly treatable when detected early and treated properly, and melanoma that is detected in the early stages of development before spreading to the lymph nodes has a 99 percent five-year survival rate.

What Are My Options for Skin Cancer Treatment?

The method of skin cancer treatment you receive will depend on the type of cancer you have.

If a patient has melanoma that has not spread, it is often treated through surgical excision of the area.

Patients with BCC or SCC are often good candidates for Mohs surgery, which removes the skin cancer lesions to make the remaining skin tissue cancer-free. Another treatment option for BCC or SCC is Superficial Radiation Therapy (SRT). This non-invasive procedure uses a special radiation machine that superficially penetrates the skin’s surface to effectively treat non-melanoma cancer while preserving the surrounding healthy cells.

How Can I Prevent Skin Cancer?

Protecting your skin from the sun is one of the best ways to prevent skin cancer. A great start is regularly wearing and reapplying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher whenever you’re in the sun. Hats, sunglasses, and clothing that covers most of the skin are also beneficial.

Skin cancer screenings are another excellent preventative measure. Once you’ve had an initial screening, your doctor will discuss steps you can take and how often you should return for a professional skin cancer screening. In between your regular screenings, you should do your own self-examination. It only takes a few minutes, and it’s convenient to do it after a shower or before you get dressed in the morning.

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Our Locations

Scottsdale, AZ:
11000 North Scottsdale Rd. Suite 120
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Carefree, AZ:
36800 North Sidewinder Rd. Suite A-2
Carefree, AZ 85377

Maricopa, AZ:
19756 N. John Wayne Pkwy. Suite 101
Maricopa, AZ 85139

Skin & Cancer Center Scottsdale