At McLean & Potomac Dermatology, our team has helped many patients by diagnosing and treating their skin cancer. Although a skin cancer diagnosis is not something people like to hear, early diagnosis is absolutely key to improving survival rates. This is because skin cancer is much easier to treat in its early stages. Skin cancer treatments become more complicated when the tumor has grown and metastasized to other body parts, and survival rates can decrease dramatically. If you’ve noticed any signs of skin cancer, we urge you to schedule a consultation immediately.
How Skin Cancer Forms
Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States, and several factors can contribute to the development of this disease. This includes sun exposure and genetics, among others.
Skin cancer is the uncontrollable growth of mutated skin cells at the very core. This occurs when a skin cell becomes mutated by UV radiation or other factors. Typically, a damaged cell will simply die and no longer divide – the body’s natural defense against such situations. However, in some instances, the mutated cell will not die but will instead continue to divide, with the mutation passed on to the new cells.
These mutated skin cancer cells will eventually grow in a cluster that becomes a tumor. At this point, most types of skin cancer can still be treated effectively, with high success rates.
However, if untreated, the cancerous cells may eventually reach the lymph nodes, passing the mutated cells to other body parts. In this way, cancer will travel to other organs, where the damaged cells will continue to grow and create more tumors.
Diagnosing Skin Cancer
Skin cancer often appears in the form of irregularly-shaped moles or spots on the skin. These can be of various colors and may even look like a raised bump on the skin.
If you’ve noticed any such spots or moles that appeared out of nowhere, you must visit a dermatologist who can accurately diagnose them.
To catch skin cancer early, we encourage all of our patients to come in for an annual exam, where we carefully inspect your skin for early signs of skin cancer. An early diagnosis is key to successfully treating cancers like basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.
Treating Skin Cancer
There are several options for addressing skin cancer, with the best course of action depending on the type of cancer you’ve been diagnosed with and how advanced it has become.
In many cases, the best way to ensure the destruction of the skin cancer tumor is to remove it via an excision. This very nuanced process requires careful tumor size and shape assessment and ensuring that the tumor tentacles have been removed.
Taking the Next Step with Skin Cancer Treatment
If you’ve noticed new or strange moles or lesions on your skin, please schedule an appointment with one of our providers so that we can carefully assess the problem and provide you with an accurate diagnosis.
Schedule Skin Cancer Treatments in McLean, VA, or Potomac, MD
If you’ve already been diagnosed with skin cancer and would like a second opinion on the best course of treatment, please schedule a consultation as soon as possible.
You can reach us through the Klara message app on this site or by calling us at (703) 356-5111.