A diagnosis of skin cancer can be a scary thing. This is one of the most common forms of cancer, but there are a variety of treatment options available, particularly for the face and neck. At the Sullivan Centre at Columbus Facial Plastics, our medical professionals proudly offer a range of treatments, including removal and reconstruction techniques, Mohs reconstruction, and more. Learn more about diagnosis and treatment during a consultation with us in Columbus, OH.
Diagnosing Skin Cancer
Diagnosis of most skin cancers begins with a thorough examination of your skin and any areas of concern. If our professionals have any concerns, they will generally order a biopsy of the affected area. This involves removing a small piece of skin for testing in the lab.
For small moles or lesions like basal cell carcinomas, a biopsy may effectively remove the cancerous cells and you may not need any further treatment. However, if the cancer is a larger or more aggressive type, like a melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma, additional testing may be needed to determine if the disease has spread to any other areas.
There are several treatment options that can be used to remove and destroy skin cancer cells. No one treatment option is better than the others. Instead, some are more effective at treating certain types or stages of skin cancers.
These are some of the most common ones that are used by dermatologists and plastic surgeons today. Talk to your doctor about which one may be the best treatment choice for your particular case.
This is perhaps the least invasive treatment method and is largely reserved for smaller cancerous or precancerous lesions. During a cryotherapy session, your doctor will use liquid nitrogen to freeze any cancer cells. The dead tissue will eventually slough off on its own.
Curettage uses a small, circular blade called a curet to scrape away layers of cancerous cells. Any remaining cancerous cells are treated with an electric needle or by cryotherapy. This is best for basal cell tumors or shallow squamous lesions.
A surgical incision involves cutting out the affected tissue. Often, surrounding healthy tissue will also be removed to help prevent future recurrence or spreading of cancerous cells. This can be used for almost any form of skin cancer.
Mohs surgery may be a good treatment choice for large or particularly deep skin cancers. During this procedure, one of our professionals will remove layers of cancer one at a time and then examine them under a microscope. This will continue until no cancerous cells remain.
Mohs surgery preserves surrounding healthy tissue, so it is a good choice for cancers that are on the face, and especially the nose and surrounding area.
Reconstruction and Recovery
You want your appearance to return to normal as soon as possible after treatment for skin cancer. If the lesion itself or the surgery necessary to remove it has left a large, deep, or open wound, reconstructive surgery may be required to restore your prior appearance.
Mohs reconstruction is a relatively common method for repairing cancer damaged areas on the face and neck. Because Mohs surgery is designed to preserve the surrounding tissue, and surgeons trained in its use will have likely identified potential donor sites to harvest additional skin, it may be possible to regain much of your natural appearance after the cancer is removed.
The simplest reconstructive options include allowing your surgical wound to heal on its own or using stitches to close it. This is suitable for small incisions and those that are not very deep. In patients who have large amounts of skin loss, graphs or flaps may be used to help minimize scarring and return normal function to facial features.
Schedule Your Consultation!
If you have concerns about the appearance of a spot on your skin, it is important to take a proactive approach. Contact us today at the Sullivan Centre at Columbus Facial Plastics and schedule your consultation to learn more about skin cancer treatments and diagnosis. Our skilled professionals proudly serve you from Columbus, Ohio.