Skin Cancer in Corte Madera, CA

27 Services ( View All )

About Skin Cancer

There are three types of skin cancers: melanoma and the two non-melanoma skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). When the tumor forms from cells at the base of the epidermis, it is called a basal cell carcinoma, and when the tumor forms from cells at the upper layers of the epidermis, it is called a squamous cell carcinoma. Melanoma is known as the most aggressive form of skin cancer and presents itself as a black or brown mole. Tracy Evans, M.D. of Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology in Marin is a board-certified dermatologist, a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon, and skin cancer specialist. She utilizes a multidisciplinary and diverse research approach for the treatment of skin cancers to provide the best care possible.

Causes

Skin cancers typically begin with the abnormal growth of skin cells in areas that are regularly exposed to direct ultraviolet radiation. This is because the UV rays from the sun or tanning beds can damage the DNA that regulates the cells' growth and turnover. Basically, there is no such thing as a "safe" tan, and exposing your skin to harsh UV rays can increase your risk of skin cancer. However, skin cancers can also develop on less-exposed areas due to heredity, age, fair skin, or having many moles or a weakened immune system. The best protection against skin cancer is to avoid tanning beds, minimize sun exposure, wear sun-protective clothing, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, and get regular skin cancer screenings.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of each type of skin cancer will vary so it's important to educate yourself on the symptoms:

  • Dry, scaly, or crusty patches on the hands, forearms, neck, or head
  • Bumps that are pearl or flesh colored
  • New scar-like lesions
  • Bumps that are shiny, firm, and/or red
  • Sores that never quite heal up, or heal up and then reopen

For melanomas, you can use the ABCDE list as a guide:

  • A: Asymmetrical mole (one side is larger than the other)
  • B: Borders on the mole (a malignant mole will not have a defined, smooth border)
  • C: Color (a malignancy will be various colors throughout the mole)
  • D: Diameter (benign moles usually stay small, but malignancies will start to spread out)
  • E: Evolving (cancer cells in a malignant mole will keep evolving and changing the appearance of the skin)

Treatment Options

Treatment for skin cancer depends on the type, size, depth, stage, and location of the lesion. At Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology, we use the most effective form of treatment — complete removal — as often as possible. We typically perform our removal procedures with local anesthetic in a comfortable procedure room in our office. Some of Dr. Evans's skin cancer treatments are listed below:

  • Mohs Surgery has a very high success rate for treating many types of skin cancer. This procedure involves a layer-by-layer removal of the lesion or tumor, allowing for a more precise removal and less damage to surrounding tissue.
  • Surgical excision can be performed on smaller, shallower skin cancers. The area surrounding the lesion will be numbed with a local anesthetic. Then Dr. Evans will carefully excise the skin cancer and a bit of surrounding tissue using a scalpel. In most cases, these excisions are easily stitched back up with a few sutures.
  • Laser therapy can be an effective treatment for actinic keratoses. At Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology, Dr. Evans uses a Fraxel laser, which is commonly associated with cosmetic skin resurfacing. It is sometimes used in combination with other topical treatments to reduce cancerous and precancerous cells.
  • Topical treatments may be used to reduce precancerous or cancerous lesions, depending on your diagnosis and the type and stage of the cancer. Topical treatments are typically creams or gels that may be prescribed by Dr. Evans after she has performed a full screening and possible biopsies to determine your diagnosis.

Protect your skin

Tracy Evans, M.D. is a skin cancer specialist and fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon who is dedicated to the education and treatment of her Corte Madera, CA patients. At Pacific Skin and Cosmetic Dermatology, she provides thorough skin cancer screenings and the most effective treatments available. If you or a family member has a history of skin cancer, or if you are concerned about the appearance of a mole or lesion, please schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Related Procedures

Related Post

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.