Non-melanoma skin cancer like basal and squamous cell carcinomas, the two most common forms of non-melanoma skin cancer, present themselves in a number of different ways, so knowing the symptoms of skin cancer is critical to help you catch it and seek treatment early.
If you look at pictures of basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, you will see skin cancer images showing everything from open sores or lesions to small bumps that hardly look threatening to waxy yellow patches of flaky skin to those telltale irregular moles. If you have seen any of these common symptoms of skin cancer you need to get to a dermatologist in Easton, MD as soon as you can. But it’s also important to visit your Easton, Maryland dermatologist annually for a skin check, as you may have squamous or basal cell skin cancer symptoms where you can’t see them, or your might have skin cancer that shows up without a typical symptom.
For some context, the several types of melanoma skin cancer together account for only about 5% of skin cancer cases but are responsible for more than 75% of the deaths caused by skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma has a nearly 100% survival rate for people without serious comorbidities and it can usually be completely cured with one round of treatments. But if you wait too long to get that treatment, that’s when basal cell carcinoma can become quite serious. While it is slow to spread, basal cell cancer can and eventually will grow into a carcinoma large enough to be disfiguring and can in time grow down into the body, causing tumors in bones, deeper in the skin, and spreading to other organs.
You and your skin cancer specialist in Easton MD have multiple treatment options to discuss, and the better informed you are, the better you and your dermatologist can make a plan for your non-melanoma skin cancer treatment. Among the options are traditional surgery, where your doctor cuts away the skin cancer and then orders a biopsy, skin cancer cryosurgery where concentrated freezing is used to remove skin cancer, laser surgery where the excision is performed with concentrated light, and several other treatment options.
You have likely also heard of Mohs surgery, which is quite popular with dermatologists in Easton, MD and beyond. This treatment involves a doctor removing as little tissue as possible and then conducting tests of the tissue removed as the patient waits, then cutting more tissue away if cancer is still detected. Many doctors consider Mohs surgery the best treatment for skin cancer and indeed it does have a 98% cure rate for basal cell carcinoma.
So why might Mohs surgery not be the best skin cancer treatment for you? If you have issues with bleeding, wound healing, or a poor reaction to anesthetics, then Mohs surgery may not be the best treatment for skin cancer. Fortunately there is another skin cancer treatment option that can also achieve a 98% cure rate on the first round of treatments: Superficial Radiation Therapy.
Superficial Radiation Therapy, or SRT, can be conducted using the SRT-100 from Sensus Healthcare. This FDA cleared SRT device delivers a safe, low dose of radiation that is focused entirely on the carcinoma on the exterior of the skin; it does not penetrate down into other tissue and does not cause damage such as the more intense internal radiation often used on tumors inside the body. SRT is an outpatient procedure that can be performed in your Easton, Maryland dermatologist’s office and without the need for pain management with medicines or anesthetics, because SRT is virtually pain free.
Superficial Radiation Therapy using the SRT-100 can also be applied to the process of keloid scar treatment. These large, unsightly scars tend to grow back after removal, with as many as 90% of keloids reforming after treatment even when that treatment was surgical removal. However, when SRT is used to treat the area after a keloid is removed, in more than 90% of cases the keloid removal is successful. If you are wondering how to get rid of a keloid successfully, talk to your Easton, MD dermatologist about Superficial Radiation Therapy as part of your keloid treatment plan.
When used for keloid treatment, SRT is as nearly pain-free as with skin cancer treatment, just make sure your doctor can perform several SRT sessions in the days right after keloid surgery.