Types of Skin Cancer & Treatments in Miami
Skin Cancer Treatment Specialists
Coming face to face with a skin cancer diagnosis is difficult and life-changing. There are too many questions and unknowns. It is reassuring to know that doctors at the Greater Miami Skin & Laser Center are prominent specialists in treating many types of skin cancer. Dr. Martin Zaiac have successfully treated thousands of patients for various skin cancers such as Actinic Keratosis, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, and Melanoma.
Their aggressive yet thoughtful approach, combined with a vast experience and unrivaled expertise in the areas of skin cancer detection, treatment, and recovery, is the most valuable resource that Greater Miami Skin & Laser Center can offer our patients.
Types of Skin Cancer
These dry, scaly pink to red patches or spots are considered the earliest stage in the development of skin cancer. Actinic Keratosis typically occur on body parts that are most often exposed to the sun and appear as small crusty, pink to red scaly, or crumbly bumps or thick scabs and horns. Early on they may come and go, but they will eventually require the attention of an experienced dermatologist who can provide actinic keratosis treatment.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
This is one of the most common skin cancers and is caused by long-term sun exposure. Basal Cell Carcinoma sometimes resembles non-cancerous skin conditions such as Psoriasis or Eczema, which is why it is always best to consult a dermatologist for basal cell carcinoma treatment and detection.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the second most common skin cancer after Basal Cell Carcinoma. This condition usually appears as thick, rough, scaly patches that may bleed easily. They often resemble warts and can appear as open sores. The skin around the site may exhibit signs of wrinkling, pigment changes, and loss of elasticity. It is best to consult a specialist in skincare for squamous cell carcinoma treatment options.
Melanoma is the most serious and aggressive form of skin cancer. When diagnosed and removed early (in-situ) while still thin and limited to the outermost skin layer, Melanoma is almost 100% curable. Once cancer advances and spreads deeper into the skin and then to other parts of the body, it is hard to treat and can be deadly.
Skin Cancer Prevention
When it comes to preventing skin cancer, the importance of sun protection can’t be overstated. Even one blistering sunburn in your childhood could more than double your chance of developing melanoma. While a few of us would probably like to go back in time and scold our younger selves for not slathering on more sunscreen, starting a sun safety routine is beneficial at any age.
To lower your risk of developing skin cancer, liberally apply SPF 30+ sunscreen daily, even if the weather is cloudy or you’re just sitting by the window. You should also look for UV-protective clothing. Long, light layers can protect your skin in the summer, and brimmed hats help prevent sun damage on your face and scalp.
Frequent skin cancer screenings also significantly increase your odds of a positive outcome. Our dermatologists can map any suspicious moles, keep an eye out for warning signs, and remove precancerous growths like actinic keratosis.
Diagnosing Skin Cancer
If our dermatologists notice a suspicious mole or skin growth at your annual skin cancer screening, we’ll order a skin biopsy. This minor procedure involves shaving or excising the lesion and examining the sample under a microscope. A biopsy can generally be performed under local anesthesia on the same day as your skin screening. If abnormal cells are detected, our skin cancer specialists will order further tests to determine the stage and create an appropriate treatment plan.
Skin Cancer Treatments
When detected and treated early, skin cancer has a high rate of positive outcomes. Fortunately, most skin cancer treatments are routine and performed in-office under local anesthesia.
Common skin cancer treatments include:
- Cryotherapy: Small, superficial cancerous lesions and actinic keratosis can often be eliminated by freezing the area with liquid nitrogen, causing the cells to slough off.
- Mohs Micrographic Surgery: Mohs surgery is the gold standard in early melanoma treatment. During this in-office procedure, your surgeon will remove thin layers of tissue and examine them under a microscope until the cancer cells are gone, and only healthy tissue remains. This skin-sparing procedure delivers better cosmetic results if your skin cancer is in a highly visible area.
- Excisional surgery: For skin cancer in less visible areas, excision surgery could be an appropriate treatment. This surgery removes the entire skin cancer growth and some surrounding skin to ensure clean margins.
- Electrodesiccation and curettage (ED&C): A surgeon can remove cancer cells with a surgical instrument. Then, an electric needle is used to destroy the remaining cancer cells during electrosurgery.
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT): This treatment involves coating the skin cancer lesion with a photosensitive medication activated by fluorescent light. The medication then destroys precancerous cells while leaving normal cells unharmed.
- Chemotherapy: Topical chemotherapy may be prescribed if your skin cancer is superficial. Otherwise, oral or IV chemotherapy can help fight skin cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.
- Radiation therapy: This treatment uses an external beam of radiation energy to eliminate cancer cells and prevent future growth.
These skin cancer treatments are sometimes used in combination with each other. Our experienced team can recommend the best options for your case.
Meet With a Skin Cancer Specialist in Miami Beach
If you’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer or have a suspicious lesion, visit Greater Miami Skin & Laser Center. Our board-certified dermatologists, Dr. Zaiac, have decades of experience successfully treating skin cancer and helping patients return to their happy, healthy lives. Call 305-532-4478 to get in touch with our welcoming team and book your appointment in Miami Beach, Florida.