Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers. Dr. Hartman removes thousands of skin cancers a year, and patients are encouraged to make an appointment if they have a lesion anywhere on their body that is concerning them. Consider making an appointment if you have a lesion that is new or changing, that is bleeding or itching, that is rough or scaly, that has irregular borders/shape, or that has areas of different colors. Dr. Hartman uses binocular microscopes to analyze skin lesions to determine if the lesions look suspicious and need to be removed. If it is determined that a lesion needs to be removed, the skin cancer removal and reconstruction can be performed in our office surgical suites.
Dr. Hartman uses a high-powered microscope for the entire procedure as it allows him to determine where cancer starts and stops even before he begins surgery. He then delineates the margins of the lesion and plans the removal with reconstruction in mind. At our clinic, Dr. Hartman excises the cancer site with wide margins and closes the removal site during the same appointment. We use local anesthetics that completely numb the skin, thus avoiding the risks and unpleasant side effects of general anesthesia.
We make sure patients are completely comfortable throughout, and offer Pro-Nox (self-administered “laughing gas”) as needed. After procedures, patients can actually drive themselves home since the skin is just numbed and any self-administered laughing gas leaves the body quickly.
The excised lesions are carefully marked and sent to a pathology lab. Pathology results are shared at the post-operative appointment where sutures are removed. The pathology report indicates what kind of lesion was removed and the completeness of the skin cancer removal.
Dr. Hartman offers extraordinarily thorough and highly developed techniques for skin cancer removal and reconstruction. Patients receive the highest possible degree of functional and aesthetic preservation.
Millions of Americans are affected by skin cancer each year. Skin cancer results from an abnormal, rapid, and uncontrollable development of mutated cells in the skin. The trigger is commonly DNA damage linked to intense and/or cumulative exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight or artificial sources, such as indoor tanning. In most cases, the problem originates in the epidermis-the outermost layer of skin. When treated in its early stages, there is a high chance that skin cancer can be cured.
All types of skin color can be affected by skin cancer. Spending a lot of time in the sun during childhood can increase your chances of developing skin cancer, as can experiencing intense sunburns in your youth. Other risk factors for skin cancer include advanced age, a family history of cancer, a weakened immune system, having fair skin that burns easily and does not tan, having naturally blond or red hair and light-colored eyes, long-term sun exposure, and previously having skin cancer. People with a significant number of moles (more than 50), large moles, or atypical lesions are also more likely to develop the disease.
There are various forms of skin cancer. The main three are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma, though there are also other rare types not often seen.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer. It starts in the lower area of the epidermis, known as the basal cell layer, and is associated with intense or cumulative, long-term UV radiation exposure. It tends to appear on the face, head, neck, and other areas that have the most sun exposure.
Squamous cell skin cancer happens in the outer, protective surface area of the epidermis. People who have this cancer have often experienced other forms of sun damage, such as severe wrinkles, age spots, and discolorations. While it can occur anywhere, this also typically affects sun-exposed areas the most.
Cancer affects the pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) that determine the color of the skin is known as melanoma. Melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer of the main three and can be life-threatening in its later stages when not properly treated. Most deaths from skin cancer are caused by melanoma. Growths of this skin cancer usually look similar to common moles but have some key differences. Knowing these differences can be crucial in catching the problem early for the best chances at a cure.