You should never ignore a change in one of your moles or the appearance of a new lesion, as some forms of skin cancer are potentially life-threatening. If you spot a suspicious area of skin, the experienced team at Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. can help. At their locations in Kittery, Maine, and Stratham, New Hampshire, they can run tests to determine whether you have skin cancer and what type, then provide prompt treatment. Don't wait if you're worried about skin cancer – call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.
Skin cancer is a result of mutations in the cells that make up your skin. It often affects the skin on your face and neck, as well as the lips and ears. There are several types of skin cancer, the most common being:
Basal cell carcinoma is cancer of the basal layer cells on the outer surface of your skin. They're usually flat lesions that look like waxy or pearly bumps that often appear on your face and neck.
Squamous cell carcinoma affects the skin that lies beneath the basal layer cells. It forms crusty or scaly lesions, or sometimes a reddish nodule, most often on the face, hands, or ears. Squamous cell carcinoma is more prone to spreading and affecting other parts of your body than basal cell carcinoma.
Melanomas affect the melanocyte cells that give your skin its coloration. They may appear on any part of your skin and often originate in a mole. Melanoma isn't as common as basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma, but it's the most dangerous type and can be life-threatening without timely treatment.
It’s a good idea to undergo a screening for skin cancer if you are fair-skinned, tend to burn in the sun, and have moles, which can all increase your chances of developing skin cancer. Smoking is also a significant risk factor.
Most skin cancers result from overexposure to light rays from the sun, so the main risk factor is spending a lot of time outside and allowing your skin to burn. The ultraviolet (UV) rays used in tanning beds affect your skin in the same way, so if you use them regularly, screening is advisable.
The treatment you require for skin cancer depends on where the lesion is and what type of cancer you have.
The Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. team can perform surgery to remove the lesion. One technique is a simple excision, where your provider cuts out the cancerous tissue along with a section of healthy skin to ensure they remove all the cancer cells.
A more precise technique is Mohs surgery, which involves removing thin layers and examining each under a microscope before continuing. Mohs surgery avoids the need to take healthy tissue and reduces scarring.
You might also need radiation therapy or chemotherapy to eradicate any stray cancer cells following surgery.
If you find an unusual lesion or notice changes in a mole, call Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.