Skin cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the skin.
The skin has several layers, but the two main layers are the epidermis (upper or outer layer) and the dermis (lower or inner layer). There are several types of cancer that start in the skin. The most common types are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, which are non-melanoma skin cancers. The least common, but most deadly of the skin cancers, is melanoma. This is skin cancer that has developed from pigmented skin cells. Read More
Treatment options depend on the stage of the cancer (whether it has grown deeper into the skin or spread to other places in the body), the type of cancer, the size and location of the tumor and the patient’s general health. Treatment is usually surgical, with the cancer cells being excised in a surgical procedure that removes the lesion with a certain rim, or margin, of normal tissue around it. Depending on the type and stage of skin cancer, lymph nodes may also have to be removed for analysis.
The biggest risk factor for skin cancer is a personal history of previous skin cancer. Another factor is sun exposure, yielding a higher rate of skin cancer in the Spokane area than elsewhere in the Northwest. People who have concerns regarding skin cancer should get regular check ups with a dermatologist to evaluate any new lesions. At Plastic Surgery Northwest in Spokane, the treatment plan for skin cancer is specific to the individual and will be planned and discussed with you at the time of your consultation.
View before-and-after photos of skin cancer.