Everyone needs some sun exposure to stay healthy, but too much can not only damage the skin and cause it to age faster, it can also cause skin cancer. The good news is, most skin cancer is treatable if discovered in its early stages, so it is essential to have your skin checked regularly, especially if you notice any growths that are suspicious according to the “skin cancer ABCs”:
Skin cancer can occur anywhere on the body, but it most often strikes in areas that experience the most frequent exposure to the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays, such as the face, neck, arms and hands. If you find a suspicious mole or growth on your face or body, it is important to have it checked for cancer immediately. Do not wait.
In order to determine whether a growth is cancerous, it will need to be examined and potentially biopsied, or partially removed and examined under a microscope. If you are found to have a non-melanoma skin cancer, such as basal and squamous cell carcinoma, surgical treatment will likely be necessary.
Surgical treatment options for skin cancer include:
Sutures may be used to close the wound that results from tumor removal, although this is not always necessary. A flap or graft may also be used to replace the skin that was removed if it is in a highly visible area or a large wound.
The three main factors that will influence your recovery include:
Swelling, redness, bruising and tenderness are all common after undergoing surgery to treat skin cancer. You should plan on wearing a bandage and avoiding strenuous for about two weeks after surgery. Topical or oral antibiotics may also be prescribed to prevent wound infection.
It is essential to keep all follow-up appointments with Dr. Weston after skin cancer surgery and continue to have regular skin cancer screenings to ensure cancer does not return.