Skin Cancer and Mohs Surgery
Helping You Get Healthy
Skin cancers are the most common type of all cancers and can affect men, women of all ages and races. Dr. Joseph Sedrak of California Dermatology Physicians in Newport Beach, California, is passionate about educating those in his care of the dangers of skin cancer and providing top quality diagnostic and treatment services when needed. If you’d like a professional skin cancer evaluation, book an appointment using the simple online scheduling tool or contact the office by phone.
Mohs surgery is a precise surgical technique that effectively removes cancerous cells while preserving as much healthy tissue as possible. Dr. Joseph Sedrak of California Dermatology Physicians in Newport Beach, California, has extensive experience in Mohs surgery and has helped hundreds of men and women move beyond skin cancer with minimal scarring. To learn more about Mohs surgery and whether it might be the right treatment path for your needs, book an appointment today using the online tool or by contacting the office by phone.
Skin Cancer Q & A
What is skin cancer?
All types of cancer share the characteristic of excessive cellular turnover. Essentially, something triggers your body to create new skin cells, which leads to a number of health issues.
Anyone can develop skin cancer anywhere on your body. That said, skin cancers are most common on areas of your skin that get an abundance of sun exposure. Your risk level rises if you have fair skin and light-colored eyes and hair. Working outdoors or spending significant time in the sun also elevates your risk.
What are the types of skin cancer?
There are three primary types of skin cancer: squamous cell cancer, basal cell cancer, and melanoma. Less common types of skin cancer include:
Merkel cell carcinoma
Sebaceous gland carcinoma
Skin cancer is usually not life-threatening when caught in the early stages. Left untreated, however, it can spread to other areas of your body where it can cause serious and sometimes deadly complications.
What are the stages of skin cancer?
Like all cancers, staging is an important part of the diagnostic process and gives your health team the information needed to create your customized treatment path. There are five stages of skin cancer.
In the earliest stage, called Stage 0, the cancerous cells are only present in the outermost layers of your skin. As you move through the stages the cells are found in the subsequently deeper layers, and the tumor gets larger. In the latest stage, Stage IV, cancerous cells have penetrated beyond your skin and are present in other tissue types like lymph nodes, bone, or other organs.
What is skin mapping?
Skin mapping is a skin cancer diagnostic tool used to identify skin cancer in the earliest stages. It involves using imaging devices and software to create a comprehensive view of your skin and all existing pigmentation abnormalities.
Once you’ve had a skin map created, both you and Dr. Sedrak have a baseline understanding of where your moles and pigmentation differences are. That makes it easier to identify changes in those areas or new skin growths.
Skin mapping is an excellent tool for men and women who’ve been previously diagnosed and treated for skin cancer. Once you’ve experienced any type of skin cancer you have an elevated risk of new cancers for the remainder of your life.
If you have questions about preventing, diagnosing, or treating skin cancer, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sedrak online or by phone.
Mohs Surgery Q & A
What is Mohs surgery?
Mohs surgery, also known as Mohs micrographic surgery, is a surgical approach that removes cancer cells while preserving as much cancer-free tissue as possible. The procedure can be done on an outpatient basis and requires minimal recovery time.
What are some advantages of Mohs surgery?
Mohs surgery is a great treatment option for certain types of cancers. Basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer can both be effectively removed with Mohs surgery. Even certain types of melanoma can be treated using this approach.
Mohs surgery is a good treatment option for cancers that:
Recur after previous treatment
Have irregular borders
Are large and/or aggressive
One of the primary reasons to pursue Mohs surgery is the ability to preserve healthy tissue surrounding cancer cells. For many men and women, this means less scarring for cancers around their eyes, mouth, ears, nose, hands, and genitals.
What happens during Mohs surgery?
Dr. Sedrak begins by cleaning the surgical area and administering a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable. He then uses a surgical scalpel to remove the visible cancer cells.
He examines those cells with a microscope to determine if the cancer cells extend to the underlying layer. If so, he returns and removes another thin layer of skin to be examined with the microscope. That process continues until he reaches a layer where there are no signs of cancerous cells. He creates a map of your skin to show exactly where cancer cells were detected, which tells him where to focus on the next layer.
At that point, he assesses the surgical site to determine if stitches are needed or if bandaging is sufficient to allow your body to heal. Skin grafting can sometimes help cover the wound, or skin can be moved from an adjacent area.
Many men and women prefer Mohs surgery as a treatment option because it allows you to know that your treatment area is completely cancer-free at the time of the procedure. Having that peace of mind can be very comforting.
To explore this and other skin cancer treatment options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sedrak today, either online or by phone.