Skin Cancer Removal in Middletown, NJ
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, and most frequently appears on skin that has been exposed to the sun. Dr. John Taylor is a Red Bank, New Jersey board-certified plastic surgeon who performs procedures for skin cancer removal on patients who have had suspicious areas confirmed as skin cancers.
What Is Skin Cancer Removal?
Skin cancer removal is the process where cancer is excised from an area of the skin. There are surgical and non-surgical options that are most often used to remove skin cancer depending on the extent and stage of the skin cancer.
Skin cancer involves abnormal growth of skin cells that can form anywhere on the body. Most often, it appears on areas exposed to the sun on a continual basis. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds can result in DNA damage that leaves the skin susceptible to cancer. There are more than a million new cases of skin cancer in the United States each year and the earlier you catch skin cancer, the easier it is to cure.
There are three major types of skin cancer that affect associated layers of the skin:
- Squamous cell carcinoma affects the squamous cells, which are just below the outer surface of the skin and serve as the inner lining. It usually appears as a scaly patch that does not heal.
- Basal cell carcinoma affects the basal cells, which lie under the squamous cells and produce new skin cells. They can appear as pearly or nodular and sometimes have tiny blood vessels around them.
- Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and affects the melanocytes, which produce melanin, the pigment in the skin. Watch for a spot that is multicolored or asymmetric or has irregular borders.
Skin cancer can often be identified as a new or changed growth on the skin that may often occur on the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms, hands, or legs. The appearance of the growth depends on the type of cancer, but if you notice the following ABCDE warning signs in a mole, it is imperative to contact your doctor:
- A: Asymmetry – One half of the mole doesn’t look like the other half
- B: Borders – The border of the spot is irregular, blurry, or notched
- C: Color – The spot consists of more than one color or shade
- D: Diameter – The mole or freckle is bigger than the size of a pencil eraser
- E: Evolving – A changing mole that is growing or altering in shape or color
Benefits of Skin Cancer Removal
Early detection and removal are the best prevention of skin cancer for the following reasons:
- Prevents skin cancer from spreading to other parts of the body
- Much higher survival rate when caught early
- Removes skin cancer before the surrounding areas are involved
How Are Skin Cancer Removal Procedures Performed?
There are various procedures to remove skin cancer depending on the depth of the lesion. In some cases, the lesion may simply lie on the surface of the skin where it is easily removed. In others, skin cancer may appear to be small but is more severe below the surface of the skin.
Treatment for skin cancer depends on the type, size, and location of the lesion. Most options remove the entire growth and usually require a simple excision and wound closure using only a local anesthetic. Sutures are usually absorbable and there is little to no downtime after the procedure. This may be done in the office or as minor surgery in the hospital. Specimens are sent to the lab for diagnosis and a pathology report.
Skin cancers that have spread below the surface involve more detailed surgical procedures because once it starts spreading under the skin, it may cover a larger area with no defined borders. The most common method of treating and removing skin cancers of this level is Mohs surgery. With the Mohs surgery, layers of the skin where the skin cancer is located are peeled away one at a time and examined. The process is continued until healthy skin is revealed and the cancer has been removed. This procedure is done under local anesthesia and may take several hours depending on how deeply the cancer has penetrated skin tissue.
Preparing for Skin Cancer Removal
Minor skin cancer removal procedures are often done in the surgeon’s office under a local anesthetic to numb the area. Prior to the procedure, it is recommended that you do the following:
- Avoid medications, vitamins, and supplements that may thin blood and increase bleeding
- Stop smoking
- Have lab testing or a medical evaluation
Recovery from Skin Cancer Removal
Recovering from skin cancer removal often takes several weeks depending on the depth of the skin cancer and the procedure used. Immediately following the procedure, the incision may appear red, swollen, and somewhat sore.
This begins to resolve itself within a few days to a week following the procedure. While the sutures are often removed a week to 10 days following the procedure, it may take weeks or months for the incision line to show marked improvement, sometimes taking up to a year to significantly fade. For more serious procedures to remove skin cancer, subsequent procedures may be required to refine the reconstruction.
It is important to follow the instructions of the plastic surgeon in terms of keeping the incision site clean and applying a topical ointment. Additionally, it is important to keep the area away from direct sunlight throughout the entire healing process to prevent pigment discoloration.
How Much Does Skin Cancer Removal Cost?
Skin cancer removal costs vary as they are based on the extent of the procedure. During your consultation, we can discuss the costs with you. We accept cash, checks, and most major credit cards as well as offer financing through CareCredit®. Most health insurance plans offer coverage for skin cancer removal; we can help you determine the coverage provided by your health insurance plan.
Is Skin Cancer Removal Right for Me?
It is important to see your doctor if you notice any skin changes. Early detection is valuable in successfully treating skin cancer. Regular full body screening by your dermatologist is recommended as well and frequent follow-up appointments for patients with previously diagnosed skin cancer. A biopsy is performed to properly diagnose a suspected cancerous growth. If the results come back to show skin cancer, it is imperative to have skin cancer removed before it spreads to other parts of the body.
Why Choose Dr. Taylor for Skin Cancer Removal?
Dr. Taylor, a board-certified plastic surgeon, has removed skin cancer lesions from many patients over the years. His expertise at the removal procedures also involves his abilities as a plastic surgeon to successfully close the wound in such a way that diminishes the presence of large scars. For more serious skin cancer removal procedures, he can perform reconstruction procedures to restore as normal an appearance as possible.
What to Expect During Your Skin Cancer Removal Consultation
Once a confirmation of skin cancer is made, you will have a consultation with Dr. Taylor to discuss the options for skin cancer removal. The consultation includes discussing the type of skin cancer, the most effective procedures to remove it, and the typical outcomes with each procedure. Additionally, he will get a complete medical history and current health evaluation along with examining the skin and taking pictures of the skin cancer. If you have any questions, he will take as much time as needed to answer them in detail so that you are informed and confident in his abilities. Each treatment plan is highly individualized for each patient, but the earlier you catch your skin cancer, the easier it is to cure.
At Allure Plastic Surgery Center, Dr. John Taylor offers plastic and reconstructive surgery procedures as well as non-invasive advanced skin care treatments to patients in Red Bank, NJ, and the surrounding areas. Contact us to set up your consultation today.