Much of what we have learned about skin care over the past decade points to the importance of the interaction of your skin with its environment. Just as all living things are affected by their surroundings, so is your skin influenced by stress, diet, exercise, exposure to the sun, makeup, and how well you take care of it. The basic characteristics of your skin are inherited from your parents and are reflected by its texture, elasticity, and your degree of natural protection from the sun.
Each year there are more than one million new skin cancers in the U.S., more than all other cancers combined, and the incidence rate is increasing. One in five Americans and one in three Caucasians will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
The good news is that skin cancers can be easily treated. Over 90% can be cured and, if detected early, nearly 100% can be cured.
There are several different types of skin cancer; the three main types are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. The most dangerous type is melanoma as it can spread throughout the body, making it more difficult to treat. Patients diagnosed with melanoma are treated at the Sarcoma and Melanoma Care Center.
Treatments for skin cancer include Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) , an innovative cancer therapy that is done without surgery. PDT uses special creams that concentrate in the tumors and then become lethal to cancer cells when they are activated by various colors of light. PDT is particularly well-suited for cancers on the face and lower legs; areas where appearance, preservation of function and rapid healing are important. PDT can be repeated if the cancer recurs or a new cancer develops.
Mohs surgery is one of the most advanced and effective treatments for both common and rare skin cancers. During this procedure, surgeons precisely identify and remove the entire tumor - while leaving the surrounding healthy tissue intact. The method minimizes the chance of re-growth and lessens the potential for scarring. This surgery is generally recommended for cancers which are in areas where it is important to preserve function or appearance such as the eyelids, nose, ears, lips and fingers.