Skin Cancer Treatment in Huntington and Staten Island

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. These cancerous growths develop when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells triggers mutations that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. Melanomas often resemble moles; some develop from moles. It is caused mainly by intense, occasional UV exposure, especially in those who are genetically predisposed to the disease.

The first step in treatment is the removal of the melanoma and the standard method of doing so is by surgical excision, which means cutting it out. With advances in the past decade, much less tissue is now removed during surgery. In most cases, the surgery for thin melanomas can be done in Dr. Blaine’s office. Stitches remain in place for 1-2 weeks and most patients are advised to avoid heavy exercise during this time. Scars are usually small and fade in time. If the melanoma is larger and requires more extensive surgery, a better cosmetic appearance can be obtained with flaps made from skin near the tumor or with grafts of skin taken from another part of the body.

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most frequent occurring form of skin cancer. BCCs are abnormal, uncontrolled growths or lesions that arise in the skin’s basal cells, which are located in the deepest layer of the epidermis (the outermost later of the skin). BCCs often look like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or scars. It is usually cause by cumulative UV exposure and intense, occasional UV exposure.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer. It is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that arise in the squamous cells, which compose most of the skin’s upper layers. SCCs often look like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression, or warts; they may crust or bleed. The main cause is cumulative UV exposure over the course of a lifetime.

Procedures for both include:

  • Excisonal Surgery: After numbing the area with local anesthesia, Dr. Blaine uses a scalpel to remove the entire growth, along with surrounding border of apparently normal skin as a safety margin. The wound around the site of surgery is closed with stitches. The excised tissue is observed under a microscope to verify that all cancerous cells have been removed. The accepted cure rate for primary tumors with this technique is about 92 percent.

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