Melanoma and other skin cancers

Melanoma is a cancer that comes from the pigment cells (melanocytes) of our skin. The incidence yearly in our country has tripled in the last 20 years among caucasian persons and may be under-diagnosed in the African American and Asian communities. Melanoma accounts for less than 5% of all skin cancers, but it may be the most serious of all types of skin cancer because of its potential for spread. It is important to see a dermatologist if you notice any change in a mole or freckle, most often changes in size, shape or pigmentation.   should You may be at higher risk for melanoma if there is a family or personal history of skin cancer.  Also, your risk may be increased risk if are prone to, or have a  history of,  severe sunburn.  Certain medications  have been implicated in increasing your risk.   Also, some patients with certain genetic alterations may be at increased risk.  All of these things will be discussed with your surgeon during your visit.  We at ASG see patients who have been diagnosed with melanoma.  Often, these patients may have already had a small biopsy done by the dermatologist showing melanoma or a precancerous lesion.  These patients may need a wider area of skin removed to be sure the melanoma has been completely excised, and at times may also need a biopsy of one or more lymph nodes.  Our surgeons are experienced in making these types of decisions and will discuss all options with you.  We work closely with dermatologists, pathologists, and oncologists to tailor your treatment(s) to your specific needs.  Our aim is to provide the most up-to-date care for you, in the safest, most straight-forward fashion, working in conjunction with your team of doctors for long term follow up. 

Skin lesions such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are classified as skin cancers, but usually much less aggressive than melanoma.  Our doctors will discuss treatment options and plan your treatment, which often simply requires that these lesions are removed with a minor outpatient procedure.  

 

 
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