Your treatment options for skin cancer and the precancerous skin lesions known as actinic keratoses can vary depending on the size, type, depth, and location of the lesions. Small skin cancers limited to the surface of the skin may not require treatment beyond an initial skin biopsy that removes the entire growth. When you are faced with a skin cancer diagnosis, it’s crucial to get treatment as soon as possible.
Determining the Extent of the Skin Cancer
If you have been told by a doctor that you have skin cancer, you may want to visit our office. At the clinic, you may have additional tests to determine the extent or stage of the cancer. The skin cancer’s stage helps determine which treatment options are likely to be most effective.
Doctors can use the Roman numerals I through IV to indicate the stage of the cancer. Stage I cancers are small and limited to the area where they began. Stage IV indicates advanced cancer that has spread to other areas of the body.
How is Skin Cancer Diagnosed?
In order to diagnose skin cancer, a doctor may take these two steps:
Examine Your Skin
The doctor may take a close look at your skin to determine whether your skin changes are likely to be skin cancer. Further testing may be requested to confirm this diagnosis.
Remove a Sample of Suspicious Skin for Testing (Skin Biopsy)
In this case, the doctor may remove the suspicious-looking skin and send it away for lab testing. A biopsy can determine whether you have skin cancer and, if so, what type of skin cancer you have.
Ask the doctor how often you may want to be checked for changes to your skin. An annual body check is especially important if you are in a high-risk group. That is if you are fair-haired or light-eyed, or you have a history of blistering sunburns.
What Treatments Can You Receive?
Treatment options offered typically include excisional surgery to remove the cancerous tissue and the surrounding skin margin. However, the right treatment depends on a number of factors and can ultimately be determined during a consultation.
Here at REAL Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery in Melbourne, we take the time to listen to your physical and emotional challenges and want to work with you to address them. We recognize that each patient is a totally unique individual, and we take pride in providing the highest quality of healthcare possible to each and every patient. Contact us today to book an appointment at our office in Werribee or Moonee Ponds. We look forward to speaking with you!