Skin Cancer: Treatment and Prevention
The skin is the largest organ of the body and is commonly exposed to harmful UV rays making skin cancer in the United States quite common. There are several different types of skin cancer and early treatment is essential to achieve optimal outcomes. If you notice skin irregularities or lesions, it is a good idea to get them looked at by a professional dermatologist. When it comes to skin cancer, early detection is very important.
If you are concerned about a skin lesion or irregularity, Dr. Jamie L. McGinness can help. Dr. McGinness is a Board certified dermatologist specializing in the treatment of skin cancer, specifically with Mohs surgery, an advanced, highly effective technique that has up to a 99% cure rate! In fact, Dr. McGinness is the only Fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon in the Metro East Illinois St. Louis area. Dr. McGinness does not offer “cookie-cutter”, one-size-fits-all treatment plans. Instead, he takes the time to get to know you and your medical history and background in order to ensure that the treatment approach he develops for you will have the greatest possible chances of success.
What is Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. There are several different types of skin cancer, many of which are caused by frequent and unprotected exposure to sunlight, which it is why it is so important to wear sunscreen and/or protective clothing and limit direct exposure to the sun where possible. A few important precautions can be taken to limit chances of developing skin cancer:
- Limit exposure to the sun between the hours of 10-2
- Avoid sunburns
- Do not use tanning beds, and avoid tanning
- Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher when exposure to sun is unavoidable
- Reapply sunscreen appropriately
- Protect infants and young children from direct sun exposure
- Regular examinations can identify lesions early
While skin cancer can affect anyone, some additional risk factors may help you evaluate the likelihood of developing this very common disease:
- Light hair and skin
- A history of sunburn, or excessive sun exposure
- A multitude of moles, freckles, or precancerous lesions
- A family or personal history of skin cancer
- Climates with heavy sun exposure or high altitudes
- Being immunocompromised
- Exposure to radiation
For most skin cancers, early detection results in positive outcomes. It is a good idea to regularly inspect your skin for spots or growths that seem new to you, or that appear to be changing in shape or size. If you do find something, it is always a good idea to have it looked at by a dermatologist. In addition to having the benefit of an early diagnosis, getting that examination can also increase your peace of mind. And even if the lesion is perfectly benign, having a clinical diagnosis will make it easier to enjoy your daily life, without any lingering concerns.
Contact Dr. Jamie L. McGinness
Dr. Jamie L. McGinness is a Board certified dermatologist and the only Fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon currently serving the Metro East Illinois St. Louis area. His dedication to excellence in patience care is backed by years of specialized training and coupled with the same compassion, caring, and personalized attention you expect from your family doctor. His goal is to work closely with you, your dermatologist (if you have one), and your primary care physician to develop a personalized course of dermatologic treatment designed to successfully address your specific health concerns.
If you are facing a diagnosis of skin cancer and believe that you may be a candidate for Mohs micrographic surgery, we encourage you to contact Dr. McGinness and schedule your consultation today.