Non-melanoma skin cancers such as basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, the two most common forms of skin cancer, can present themselves many different ways; knowing the symptoms of skin cancer is imperative to help you catch it and seek treatment fast.
If you look at pictures of basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell cancer, you will see skin cancer photos showing everything from open sores, lesions, small bumps, waxy yellow patches of flaky skin, and irregular moles. If you have seen any of these common signs of skin cancer you need to get to a dermatologist in Memphis, TN as soon as you can. But it’s also important to visit your Memphis, Tennessee dermatologist annually for skin checks, as you may have squamous or basal cell skin cancer symptoms where you can’t even see them, or you might have skin cancer that shows up without typical symptoms.
For a bit of context, the several types of melanoma skin cancer together account for only 5% of skin cancer cases but they 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 becomes quite serious. While it is slow in spreading, basal cell cancer can and will grow into a carcinoma large enough to be disfiguring and can also in time grow down into other tissues of your body, causing tumors in bones, deeper in the skin, and even in other organs.
You and your skin cancer specialist in Memphis, TN have multiple treatment options to discuss; the better informed you are, the better you and a dermatologist can make a plan for your non-melanoma skin cancer treatment strategy. Among the options are excisional surgery, where your doctor cuts away the skin cancer and orders a biopsy, skin cancer cryosurgery which is when concentrated freezing is used to remove skin cancer, laser surgery where the cutting is performed with concentrated light, and several other treatment options.
You have likely also heard of Mohs surgery, which is popular with dermatologists in Memphis, TN and beyond. This treatment involves a doctor removing as little tissue as possible and then conducting tests of the tissue removed right away 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 it does have a 98% cure rate for basal cell carcinoma cancer.
So why might Mohs surgery not be the best skin cancer treatment? If you have issues with clotting, wound healing, or a bad reaction to anesthetics, then Mohs surgery may not be the best treatment for your 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 Vision 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 thanks to the ultrasound guidance system; the radiation does not penetrate down into other tissue and does not cause damage such as the more intense radiation often used on tumors inside the body with other cancers. SRT is an outpatient procedure that can be performed in your Memphis, Tennessee dermatologist’s office and without the need for pain medicines or anesthetics, because SRT is virtually pain free.
Superficial Radiation Therapy using the SRT-100 Vision can also be applied in the process of keloid scar treatment. These large, unsightly scars almost always grow back after removal, with as many as 90% of keloids reforming after treatment even when that treatment was a surgical removal. However, when SRT is used to treat the area after a keloid scar 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 Memphis, TN dermatologist about Superficial Radiation Therapy as part of your keloid treatment plan.