Skin cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in the United States — around 20% of Americans develop skin cancer by the age of 70. At Orange Coast Dermatology in Rancho Santa Margarita and Mission Viejo, California, the team diagnoses and treats all types of skin cancer. If you’re concerned about skin cancer, call Orange Coast Dermatology or schedule a consultation online today.
Skin cancer develops when abnormal cells multiply rapidly and form tumors. Skin cancer usually starts in one of three types of skin cells.
Basal cell carcinomas begin in your basal cells. They usually grow on your head, nose, and neck. Basal cell carcinomas have variations that affect their appearance. They might look like a non-healing sore or an irregularly shaped plaque. Some are dark blue or black.
Squamous cell carcinomas begin in your squamous cells and can form anywhere on your body but are most common on skin that receives a lot of sun exposure. They look like red-brown scaly patches of skin, similar to eczema or psoriasis.
Melanomas begin in your melanin cells. It’s the most aggressive type of skin cancer, but the team can treat it effectively when they catch it early. Melanomas look like abnormally shaped and colored moles.
Actinic keratoses are precancerous cells. These scaly patches of skin aren’t cancer but can turn into cancer when untreated.
The team at Orange Coast Dermatology provides thorough skin cancer screenings. If they find an irregular patch of skin and suspect cancer, they take a biopsy to test and diagnose. During a biopsy, they scrape or excise a sample of cells and send it to a lab for analysis.
The team at Orange Coast Dermatology provides several treatments for skin cancer. If your biopsy is positive, you have a consultation to discuss your options, ask questions, and plan your next steps. Some of the treatment options include:
The team offers curettage and electrodesiccation to remove actinic keratosis, basal cell, and squamous cell carcinomas. After thoroughly numbing and cleaning your skin, your provider uses a curette to scrape away the cancerous cells.
Then, they use electrodesiccation to cauterize the area. Cauterization increases the chances of successful treatment and reduces bleeding.
During cryosurgery, your provider numbs and cleans your skin then applies liquid nitrogen to the skin cancer. The liquid nitrogen freezes and destroys the cancer cells. Your provider might also recommend cryosurgery for actinic keratosis.
The team at Orange Coast Dermatology uses light and laser therapy to treat skin cancer on your skin's surface. They often combine light and laser therapy with topical prescriptions to help your body shed actinic keratosis and other abnormal cells.
Mohs surgery is an innovative and precise procedure to remove skin cancer. It’s an outpatient procedure that involves removing skin cancer layer by layer to reduce damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.
Call Orange Coast Dermatology or make an appointment online today for expert diagnosis and treatment for skin cancer.