How You Can Effectively Deal With Skin Cancer
Skin cancer usually develops as a result of a condition known as Psoriasis. This is where the skin cells multiply at a rate that is much higher than normal, sometimes up to 10 times more. The skin reacts by building up into red bumpy patches that cause irritation. With time the red patches dry up and leave white scales, which are further regenerated back into the red patches. Whereas they can occur on any part of the skin, they are normally common on the knees, elbows, the scalp, and lower back. In most cases, this condition appears in adulthood and affects just a few parts. However, in severe cases more than half of the body can be covered.
The good news is psoriasis can actually be eliminated thanks to Mohs Surgery. The procedure is named after Frederic E. Mohs who developed it in the late 1930s. It was further developed by Perry Robins in the mid-1960s into what is today identified as Mohs micrographic surgery. It is so successful that it can cure skin cancer with a 98% to 99% success rate. The dermatology specialist conducts this procedure in stages that involve lab work. All the stages can be completed in one visit to the skin doctor with the patient waiting in between the stages.
What to Expect During Mohs Surgery
For optimal results of this procedure, you have to ensure that the Mohs procedure is conducted by a well-qualified dermatology specialist in the first place. He begins by removing a layer of skin tissue and then examining it under a microscope in the lab. He is then able to identify the exact location of the cancer cells. The layer of the affected tissue is removed while attempting as much as possible to spare the healthy tissue. The dermatology specialist keeps on repeating this procedure until all the cancerous cells are eliminated.
This process is the most ideal form of cancer treatment as it can even be done on the most sensitive parts of the skin such as the areas around the eyes, ears, lips, nose, fingers, scalp, and even genitalia. Moreover, it can effectively control the cancer cells that grow rapidly or have the tendency to recur after previous treatment.
How to Prepare For the Procedure
After the dermatology specialist has scheduled you for Mohs surgery, you need to begin getting ready for the procedure. The first thing is to take note of any health conditions you may be having and discuss it with a skin care specialist for a recommendation on the best way forward. For instance, if you have an artificial joint or a heart murmur, your doctor will have to determine whether preoperative antibiotics are necessary. In addition, having a preexisting cardiovascular disease may prompt the doctor to discontinue the use of blood thinners.
Even those with no preexisting conditions need to take note of a few cautionary aspects. For example, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin should be avoided at least for a week before the surgery. Alcohol and vitamin E should also be avoided. Before the day of the procedure ensure that you have a good night’s sleep followed by a normal breakfast in the morning. Anesthesia is administered during the surgery and therefore there is no need to fast. It is also important to have a loved one accompanying you for the appointment with the dermatology specialist.
Early Detection for Prevention
For those without the condition, detecting psoriasis early enough is the best way of preventing skin cancer in the first place. This can be done privately through self-examination as often as possible. The Skin Cancer Foundation actually recommends a monthly head-to-toe skin self-examination and to be on the lookout for any new or changing lesions because there is a chance that they could be either precancerous or cancerous. Most types of skin cancers are curable if they are discovered and removed early enough. In case you notice anything suspicious on your skin, you should see a dermatology specialist as soon as possible. Usually, a self-examination can last less 10 minutes, a period that can give life-saving insights.