Three types of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer in the United States.  Doctor Halliday has 25 years’ experience with Skin Cancer. Most treatments can be preformed in the office under local anesthesia. Removal and reconstruction can be done at the same setting.  There are three different types of skin cancer and most of these when caught early, can be treated surgically in the office, and are completely cured with minor procedures done under local anesthesia. The most common areas of skin cancer can occur on the exposed areas to the environment including scalp, ears, nose, and cheeks.  It is common on arm and hand extremities, but can appear anywhere on the body. As a simple guideline, any lesion or dark lesion, that changes in size, shape, color, irregular edges, bleeding, or ulceration, should immediately be evaluated by a physician.

Type 1 Basal Cell Carcinoma

The first and most common is basal cell carcinoma and can be cured by simple surgical excisions and complete and cured margins.  Sometimes if they are extensive, they can require further excision and reconstruction repair of the area, involving skin flaps or grafting. They are common especially on sun exposed areas including areas 

Type 2 Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell is similar to basal cell, but in a small percentage of cases in the peri-oral and peri-nasal area, the squamous cell carcinoma can metastasize to the lymph nodes.  Wide field surgical excision is typically done with reconstruction. If it has extended into the neck areas, it could involve more extensive therapy include limp n ode dissection and radiation therapy, chemotherapy.

Type 3 Melanoma

Melanoma is different from the other types of skin cancers, and if not caught early it can be very aggressive.  Nearly 70,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma each year, and it causes around 8500 deaths each year. Early detection when the lesions are small and have not invaded deeply, can often be cured with simple excision done under a local anesthesia.  Depending on the depth of the melanoma, work up can be more extensive including PET scan and CT Scan. The more advanced stages of melanoma can spread into the lymph nodes and organs and require more extensive therapies including lymph node dissection, chemotherapy, and even immunotherapy.  Depending on the type of melanoma, there are some protocols that have shown some success even in metastatic melanoma.