Primary care physicians catch many early skin cancer growths as they examine patients most often.
Once a mole or other growth on the skin is identified as possibly cancerous, it should be looked at by an expert. Most primary care physicians or general practitioners will refer their patients to a dermatologist from that point.
Which type of doctors can remove skin cancer?
Who treats more advanced or complex cancers?
Advanced cancers are often treated by surgeons or oncologists.
For squamous cell and basal cell skin cancers and melanoma, the doctors can include the following:
Surgical oncologists – diagnose and remove cancer through surgery
Medical oncologists – perform chemotherapy, hormonal therapies, and others
Radiation oncologists – perform radiotherapy for cancer treatment
*For melanoma, many patients seek out Mohs Fellowship Surgeons with specialized training in performing this treatment with precision and leaving the majority of the surrounding area untouched.
What are skin cancer treatment options?
Skin cancer treatment options are vast and vary by the type of skin cancer and stage of cancer.
Here are some options approved by the American Cancer Society:
There are many different types of surgery performed. Usually they can be done in a dermatologist’s office. Depending on the spread or risk of spread, the surgeon may recommend radiation or chemotherapy as additional treatment measures.
Excision – Cancer is removed with a surgical knife. A scar will likely remain.
Curettage and electrodesiccation – This surgery involves scraping the skin and using a special needle to get rid of any remaining cancer cells.
Lymph node – Lymph nodes are removed and biopsied.
Cryotherapy- Cancer is frozen with liquid nitrogen.
Photodynamic therapy – Procedure is used for actinic keratoses primarily.
Immunotherapy – Treatment boosts the body’s immune system.
Be informed. Discuss all treatment options with your dermatologist and learn about the details of each including risks and expected outcomes.
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends an annual screening for adults be performed by a dermatologist.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with skin cancer or has questions about moles or other growths on the skin, ask your dermatologist or primary care physician if you suspect you or a family member may have skin cancer. A full body skin exam is the best option for a thorough review of your skin’s condition. This exam should be performed by a Board-certified dermatologist. At Suncoast Skin Solutions, Florida’s Most Trusted Dermatology, we not only have Board-Certified dermatologists, we also have several Mohs fellows who have received advance training and experience with the procedure. Each of our dermatology site locations is accepting new appointments and can perform a thorough skin evaluation. Please call for details.