According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. As the most common form of cancer today, skin cancer affects the lives of people all over the world. A skin cancer diagnosis can be a scary thing, however, there are steps that can be taken to remove cancer. Skin cancer removal and reconstruction can often effectively remove the skin cancer as well as reconstruct the area.
What is Skin Cancer Removal and Reconstruction?
At Associates of Otolaryngology, our physicians are trained in diagnosing, taking biopsies, and performing surgery on skin cancer. When skin cancer occurs, it is important to remove it from the skin as soon as possible to prevent it from spreading. Common early signs of cancer include:
- Skin sores that do not heal
- Bumps in the skin (oftentimes grow in size)
- Changes in bumps of nodules (texture, color, size)
How is Skin Cancer Removal and Reconstruction Done?
Depending on the stage of skin cancer and the amount of tissue that needs to be removed, skin cancer removal and reconstruction can be performed in many ways. While small skin cancers commonly only require a skin biopsy to remove the growth, deeper cases may require further treatment.
Common skin cancer removal techniques include:
- Excisional Skin Surgery- The treatment area will be numbed, and the cancerous tissues removed with a scalpel. This technique is commonly used, as it can leave optimal cosmetic outcomes.
- Mohs Surgery- This technique is often used to treat larger, recurrent areas of cancer where it is important to preserve as much skin as possible. The growth will be shaved away in thin layers and checked under a microscope until there are no cancerous cells remaining.
- Cryosurgery- Cryotherapy can be used to treat small, superficial skin cancers. Liquid nitrogen will be used directly on the skin to freeze and kill cancerous cells. These cells will then drop away from the skin once the skin thaws.
In the case that a large area of skin and tissue must be removed to treat the skin cancer, reconstruction can be done to improve the appearance of the treated area.
Skin Cancer Removal and Reconstruction Recovery
Recovery from skin cancer removal and reconstruction will depend on the type of removal and reconstruction done. It is important to speak with your physician about possible side-effects and what to expect during recovery during your consultation.
Following skin cancer removal, it is extremely important to apply sunscreen daily, even when spending time in cloudy weather. Also, avoiding direct sunlight between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the sun’s rays are the strongest, can help to avoid sun damage.
If you are interested in learning more about skin cancer removal and reconstruction in Denver, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our ENT specialists.