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Self-Examination for skin cancer.
- Examine your body front and back in the mirror, then right and left sides arms raised.
- Bend elbows and look carefully at forearms and upper underarms and palms.
- Look at the back of the legs and feet; space between toes and sole.
- Examine back of neck and scalp with a mirror. Part hair for a closer look.
- Check back and buttocks with a hand mirror.
|Most of the more than 1 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer diagnosed yearly in the United States are considered to be sun-related. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, will account for about 59,600 cases of skin cancer in 2005 and most (about 7,800) of the 10,600 deaths due to skin cancer each year. |
Sun Safety – UV Radiation given off by the sun is extremely harmful
Here is a list of thing to do to lessen the risk of getting skin cancer.
- Do not sunbathe.
- Avoid unnecessary sun exposure, especially between 10:00 a.m.
and 4:00 p.m., the peak hours for harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
- When outdoors, use sunscreens rated 15 SPF of higher. Apply them liberally, uniformly and frequently.
- When exposed to sunlight, wear protective clothing such as long
pants, long-sleeved shirts, broad brimmed hats, and UV-protective
- Stay away from artificial tanning devices.
- Teach your children good sun protection habits at an early age:
The damage that leads to adult skin cancers starts in childhood.
- Examine your skin head to toe at least once every three months.
Mohs micrographic surgery is one skin cancer treatment available at Harris Dermatology.
This specialized treatment is highly effective because only minimal
amounts of tissue are removed. This leaves behind a larger amount of
healthy tissue which helps reduce scarring.
It is most often recommended for skin cancers that have recurred or
have a high chance of recurrence. It is also indicated for areas like
the hands or face that require maximum healthy tissue for cosmetic or
How does it work?
The Mohs surgeon marks the area to be treated and removes the visible cancer, along with a sliver of additional tissue. While the patient waits, the removed tissue is carefully marked creating a Mohs “map.” A technician prepares the specimen for the surgeon to examine it under a microscope.
This careful inspection reveals any hidden microscopic “roots” of skin cancers. If remaining cancer is found, the surgeon can use the map to locate and remove hidden cancerous roots from the patient. This part of the procedure is repeated as many times as necessary to remove all parts of the skin cancer, seen and unseen.
Usually the entire procedure takes fewer than four hours, depending on the hidden extent of the cancer. Most insurance policies cover this method of treatment.
Afterwards, there is minimal discomfort. Generally the area heals naturally with little or no scarring. In rare cases, some scar repair may be desired. Side effects are unusual.
Mohs surgery should only be performed by a specially trained Mohs surgeon. At Harris Dermatology Mohs surgery is performed on an outpatient basis in our offices, only a local anesthetic is needed. Most patients report minimal discomfort and enjoy the convenience of onsite care from our Mohs surgical specialist.