Skin Cancer

Signs of skin cancer

With skin cancer being one of the most common types of cancer it’s important that people understand how to protect themselves. Luckily, there are simple ways to prevent skin cancer. As any dermatologist will tell you, one of the best ways to prevent sunburn and to protect your skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays is by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day without fail. Here at Young Dermatology, we also provide comprehensive skin cancer screenings, which everyone should take advantage of at least once a year.

You should also examine your skin regularly, paying close attention to any moles or growths that may have changed in,

  • Color
  • Symmetry
  • Border/Shape
  • Size

Growths that crust, ooze, bleed or look scar-like should also be examined by a dermatologist. While everyone has heard of melanoma, the two most common non-melanoma forms of skin cancer include basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These are both easily treatable (as is melanoma when diagnosed during the early stages). If you’ve been told that you have non-melanoma skin cancer, know that we offer a variety of treatment options including,

  • Excisional surgery
  • Cryotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Topical chemotherapy

The type of skin cancer treatment that’s right for you will depend on the type and stage of your cancer. Many patients dealing with stage 1 or stage 2 non-melanoma skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma) are often good candidates for photodynamic therapy.

What is photodynamic therapy?

During this specialized light therapy, your dermatologist will first remove any crusting that may have developed on the cancerous growth before applying a special cream. This cream will make the growth-sensitive to light. Once the cream has been left on the skin for several hours then a light is shined directly on the area for several minutes. After treatment, a bandage is immediately applied to the area. Most patients getting photodynamic therapy for skin cancer will need to come in every week for repeated treatments.

PDT can be an ideal treatment option for those dealing with early stages of skin cancer who are also looking for less invasive procedures or who may also wish to avoid surgery. Photodynamic therapy also targets a specific area, making treatment more accurate and precise.

If you’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer and you want to discuss photodynamic therapy or other treatment options with a qualified dermatologist, then call Young Dermatology at (206) 456-4464 to schedule an appointment.