Posts for tag: Skin Cancer
The American Cancer Society estimates that there could be over 115,000 new skin cancer cases in 2021. Understanding your treatment options for skin cancer in Peoria, AZ, can help you make informed decisions about your health. Your dermatologist, Dr. Vernon Mackey of Advanced Desert Dermatology can explain your skin cancer prevention and treatment options.
Surgery is a common skin cancer treatment. Your dermatologist can perform this procedure in their office to remove the cancer cells and surrounding skin. This procedure occurs under local anesthesia so you don't have to worry about pain.
These non-surgical treatments are sometimes carried out with other skin cancer treatments that target and destroy skin cancer cells. Topical therapies that your dermatologist could prescribe for your skin cancer in Peoria, AZ, include:
- Photodynamic therapy. Your dermatologist applies light-sensitive medication to your skin cancer and activates it with light to kill cancer cells.
- Topical chemotherapy. Using this therapy, your dermatologist applies a chemotherapeutic agent to the skin cancer for 3-12 weeks. It's typically effective against superficial cancers.
- Immune response modifiers. They act by stimulating your immune system to fight skin cancer.
For advanced skin cancers, your dermatologist might prescribe chemotherapy. Your medical team at Advanced Desert Dermatology will develop personalized chemotherapeutic therapy for your skin cancer.
Following surgery, your dermatologist might recommend radiation therapy to clear up remaining cancer cells especially in areas where they removed lymph nodes. Radiation therapy could also help treat metastases if cancer comes back. Radiation therapies for skin cancer include:
- External beam radiation therapy
- Intensity-modulated radiation therapy
- Tomo therapy
Targeted therapies work by acting on specific features of your cancer cell that distinguish them from healthy cells. These features include specific gene mutations and proteins. These therapies kill cancer cells or improve the efficacy of chemotherapy.
Immunotherapy activates your immune system to kill cancer cells. Cytokines and checkpoint inhibitors are immunotherapy drugs that your dermatologist might recommend for your skin cancer treatment.
Want to learn more about skin cancer in Peoria, AZ?
Schedule a consultation with your dermatologist, Dr. Mackey, of Advanced Desert Dermatology by calling (623) 977-6700.
How your dermatologist at Advanced Desert Dermatologist can diagnose and treat skin cancer
Did you know that wearing sunscreen daily can help save your life? It’s true! Wearing sunscreen when you go outside can help protect you from malignant melanoma, a type of skin cancer that can be fatal. There are other ways to prevent skin cancer too, and regular visits to your dermatologist are one of the most important ways to protect your health.
Dr. Vernon Thomas Mackey and Dr. Brandon Mackey of Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peoria, AZ, offer a wide range of skincare services, including diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer.
Skin cancer affects over 3 million people in the United States, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. You can do a lot to prevent skin cancer. Remember to:
- Use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher every day
- Use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher if you plan on being outside for a long period
- Try to stay out of direct sunlight during the hours of 10 AM to 4 PM when UV rays are the most intense
- Put on a hat, sunglasses, and other protective clothing
- Don’t go into tanning booths
Another important way to prevent skin cancer is to check your skin regularly, looking for moles. Abnormal moles could be an early sign of skin cancer. An abnormal mole is:
- A mole with a diameter greater than 6 millimeters
- A mole with an irregular, poorly defined border
- A mole with an asymmetrical shape
- A mole that doesn’t look like your other moles
- A mole that is red, painful, or bleeding
- A new mole or a mole that has recurred after it was previously removed
If you find moles that have any of the characteristics listed above, visit your dermatologist as soon as you can. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to achieving a good outcome and protecting your health.
To find out more about the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of skin cancer, talk with an expert. Call Dr. Vernon Thomas Mackey of Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peoria, AZ, at (623) 977-6700. Call now!
During the much longed-for summer months, people work on their tans. While enjoying a richer skin tone now, tanners take huge risks for premature aging and skin cancer.
Sun and artificial tanning
It's what we use to get those tans. But, did you know that when you tan, you actually burn the top layer (epidermis) of your skin and damage your DNA, too?
According to Live Science, DNA damage mutates normal skin cells into cancer cells. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are the most common kinds of skin cancer. Malignant melanoma is the most deadly skin cancer as it easily metastasizes to major body organs. About one-third of melanoma cases in the US kill their sufferers annually, says The Skin Cancer Foundation.
Unfortunately, artificial tanning is just as dangerous as sitting in the sun. Intermittent sun exposure or occasional tanning in the sun or tanning beds are harmful, too. Damage to the skin is cumulative, and both kinds of ultraviolet radiation (there are UV-A and UV-B rays) breakdown your skin's DNA over time. Further, UV-B harms your skin's natural elasticity normally provided by a protein called collagen.
Don't tan: protect
To protect your skin, avoid sunburns, intentional tanning and excessive day to day sun exposure with these strategies from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD):
- Cover up any exposed skin (face, arms, legs, ears) with a broad-brimmed hat, long-sleeves and other sun-protective clothing.
- Use sunscreen lotion--SPF 30 or higher--on all exposed skin, and re-apply every two hours or whenever you sweat it off or swim.
- Stay indoors or in the shade from 10 am to 2 pm.
Also, all adults, particularly those 40 or older, should see a dermatologist for an annual skin exam. Do a careful self-exam once a month at home, looking for changes in the color, size, and shape of existing spots or moles. Report changes to your skin doctor as well as any sore which does not heal in a week or so.
It's your skin
Don't sacrifice its health for a little fashionable color. Tanning really is bad for you. Find healthy ways to enjoy the summer months and that wonderful sun. Your skin and your overall health will be better for your efforts.
With the warmer months just around the corner you may be getting ready to plan some fun in the sun. The summertime always finds children spending hours outside playing, as well as beach-filled family vacations, backyard barbeques, and more days just spent soaking up some much-needed vitamin D.
While it can certainly be great for our emotional and mental well-being to go outside, it’s also important that we are protecting our skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. These are some habits to follow all year long to protect against skin cancer,
Wear Sunscreen Daily
Just because the sun isn’t shining doesn’t mean that your skin isn’t being exposed to the harmful UVA and UVB rays. The sun’s rays have the ability to penetrate through clouds. So it’s important that you generously apply sunscreen to the body and face about 30 minutes before going outside.
Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that also protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Everyone should use sunscreen, even infants. Just one sunburn during your lifetime can greatly increase your risk for developing skin cancer, so always remember to lather up!
Reapply Sunscreen Often
If you are planning to be outdoors for a few hours you’ll want to bring your sunscreen with you. After all, one application won’t be enough to protect you all day long. A good rule of the thumb to follow is, reapply sunscreen every two hours. Of course, you’ll also want to apply sunscreen even sooner if you’ve just spent time swimming or if you’ve been sweating a lot (e.g. running a race or playing outdoor sports).
Seek Shade During the Day
While feeling the warm rays of the sun on your shoulders can certainly feel nice, the sun’s rays are at their most powerful and most dangerous during the hours of 10am-4pm. If you plan to be outdoors during these times it’s best to seek shady spots. This means enjoying lunch outside while under a wide awning or sitting on the beach under an umbrella. Even these simple measures can reduce your risk for skin cancer.
See a Dermatologist
Regardless of whether you are fair skinned, have a family history of skin cancer or you don’t have any risk factors, it’s important that everyone visit their dermatologist at least once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening. This physical examination will allow our skin doctor to be able to examine every growth and mole from head to toe to look for any early signs of cancer. These screenings can help us catch skin cancer early on when it’s treatable.
Noticing changes in one of your moles? Need to schedule your next annual skin cancer screening? If so, a dermatologist will be able to provide you with the proper care you need to prevent, diagnose and treat both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
Maintaining your health isn't just about eating a healthy diet and exercising. It's also important to have regular checkups with your various medical practitioners, including Dr. Vernon Thomas Mackey of Advanced Desert Dermatology in Peoria, Arizona. These appointments, usually made yearly, are to check your skin for any types of skin cancer that may have developed. Below are some details about skin cancer and its treatment.
It's common knowledge that prolonged sun exposure can lead to skin cancer. That's why people with fair skin who work outside or live in sunny areas of the world are at particular risk for developing lesions. However, many people are under the impression that tanning beds are a safe alternative to the sun. This is false; tanning beds actually transmit 12 times as many UVA rays than natural sunlight. As you might have guessed, genetics also play a part in developing skin cancer. So if an immediate family member has had skin cancer, it's important to have regular checkups with Dr. Mackey at Advanced Desert Dermatology.
The various types of skin cancer often produce specific symptoms that your Peoria dermatologist has special training to recognize. In general, an existing mole that develops redness, bleeding, or swelling should be examined, as should new growths that have similar properties. You can monitor changes on your skin at home by performing self-checks in the mirror once a month. Dr. Mackey can show you the best, most thorough way to perform these skin checks on yourself or a family member.
The good news is that skin cancer, when caught early, is almost always curable. The way it's treated and managed depends on a number of factors; in general, treatment begins with surgical removal of the suspect lesion and the margins around it. The sample's properties will be evaluated in a laboratory and the results reported to your Peoria dermatologist. In many cases, no further treatment is needed. Other forms of skin cancer may require further excision or medical therapy.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mackey, your dermatologist in Peoria, Arizona, contact Advanced Desert Dermatology today!