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Skin Cancer

Medical Dermatology & Surgical and Cosmetic Dermatology in Fenton, Chesterfield and O'Fallon, MO

Skin Cancer services offered in Fenton, Chesterfield and O'Fallon, MO

Often the result of too much sun exposure, skin cancer can do a lot of damage if you don’t catch it early. Missouri Dermatology Laser and Vein Center, located in Fenton, Chesterfield, and O’Fallon, Missouri, provides skin cancer treatments for common forms like squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Learn about Mohs surgery and other effective skin cancer treatment options by calling Missouri Dermatology Laser & Vein Center or booking an appointment online today.

Skin Cancer Q&A

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of certain cells in the epidermis, which is a layer of cells making up your skin. The type of skin cancer you have depends on the skin cell type where the cancer originates. Three of the most prevalent types are:

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)

Basal cells are cells in your epidermis that are round and toward the bottom. These cancers usually affect individuals with light-toned skin and who are older than 40 years, but anyone can get them. BCC is slow-growing and unlikely to metastasize (spread).

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)

Squamous cells are thin, flat, and on the surface. SCC is the second most common type of skin cancer after BCC and tends to come from long-term sun exposure. They can cause local damage if you don’t remove them but have a pretty high cure rate. 

Melanoma

Melanoma is a challenging form of skin cancer to treat. It originates in melanocytes, which are pigment-producing cells, and often affects moles you already have. Without treatment, melanoma spreads to other parts of your body, where it can do more damage. 

What are my treatment options for skin cancer?

Missouri Dermatology Laser and Vein Center provides treatment for BCC, SCC, and melanoma skin cancers. They often use conventional techniques like excision or cryosurgery and can also use systemic treatments to eliminate cancer cells that have spread through your body, like chemotherapy or radiation. 

Many BCC, SCC, and melanoma lesions are treatable with Mohs surgery that leaves as much healthy skin and tissue in the area as possible. During Mohs surgery, your provider removes one fine layer of cells from the lesion after another. They look at each removed portion under a microscope to locate any additional cancerous cells. 

Yoru surgeon repeats this process until all cancerous cells are gone from the area and as much healthy skin as possible remains. 

How can I prevent skin cancer?

While you can’t control any genetic risks for skin cancer, there are steps you can take to mitigate the risk. Because skin cancer often comes from ultraviolet (UV) light damage to skin cells, many tips for prevention focus on protecting your skin from those rays.

The team at Missouri Dermatology Laser and Vein Center recommends lowering your skin cancer risk by:

  • Using sunscreen
  • Wearing clothing with plenty of coverage
  • Investing in a sunhat
  • Avoiding tanning beds
  • Examining your skin about once a month
  • Getting yearly professional skin exams

At Missouri Dermatology Laser and Vein Center, the team performs skin examinations to look for signs of pre-cancer and skin cancer. They may take skin biopsies of any lesions that seem unusual or suspicious.

Learn more about skin cancer, how it develops, and how to stop it from spreading by scheduling an appointment over the phone or online at Missouri Dermatology Laser and Vein Center today.

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