Skin cancer affects millions of people each year, and in some cases, it can be deadly. As a top-ranked dermatologist in San Antonio, TX, Dr. Ana Sauceda, M.D., offers comprehensive skin cancer screenings for patients at Alamo City Dermatology, identifying skin cancer in its earliest stages so the most appropriate treatment can be provided.
Skin cancer screening is a visual examination of the skin on your entire body, from head to toes inclusively, to look for signs of skin cancer. During the screening, patients remove their clothing and change into a hospital gown. A systematic check is made from head to toe, including areas not exposed to the sun as well as the nail beds and scalp. If a suspicious lesion or another abnormality is noted, a tiny sample of tissue (called a biopsy) will be removed and sent to a lab for evaluation under a microscope. Skin cancer screenings take just a few minutes to perform, but they play a critical role in preventing skin cancer and in diagnosing skin cancer in its earliest stages. Screenings should be performed annually in most people.
There are three primary types of skin cancer:
If the biopsy results indicate skin cancer is present, the lesion must be removed surgically to prevent cancer from spreading. Skin cancer surgery typically uses a technique called Mohs surgery, designed to remove the least amount of healthy tissue while still ensuring the cancerous tissue in the treatment area is completely removed. During Mohs surgery, the lesion is removed, and the tissue is immediately evaluated under a microscope. If the edges or margins of the tissue are clear of cancerous cells, the surgical site is closed, and a bandage is placed over the wound. If one or more margins show the presence of cancer cells, additional tissue is removed and reevaluated under a microscope until all of the margins are clear of cancer cells.
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