Dr Parker talks about Skin Cancer Types and Treatments
Dr. Thornwell Parker: So, the main types of skin cancer we treat are basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, and melanoma. Basal cell cancer is the most common skin cancer that we see and thankfully, it's the slowest growing. It rarely ever spreads to other parts of the body. The second most common skin cancer is squamous cell cancer and this one's a little bit more aggressive, but if treated appropriately and treated early, the treatment is very similar to basal cell. The third most common skin cancer we see is melanoma. Melanoma is obviously the cancer that most people are most concerned about. Thankfully, melanoma is a little bit less common and also if melanoma's caught early, the cure rates are excellent.
Susie Corrigan: My dermatologist recommended them. I had some skin cancers and she said, "You might want to try this doctor out. He's pretty good." I did and I'm very, very happy. They are wonderful, they're so nice, so kind, and they're beautiful, inside and out. When I'm sitting out in the waiting room after they've cut the little skin cancer out, one of the staff members here knows me so well and knows that my anxiety level gets so high, that door opens and she looks and says, "Corrigan? Get out of here." Because everything's great and done. That's very comforting.
Dr. Thornwell Parker: There's a couple different ways of taking skin cancer off surgically. One is what we would call the traditional excision. That involves, essentially, cutting out the skin cancer with a margin of extra-normal appearing skin and stitching it up and then sending the patient home. The other method is the Mohs procedure. Mohs is a little bit more conservative and also has a higher cure rate. However, the patient waits around for the results while we check them. The patient is not stitched up immediately after the removal but instead waits to make sure all of the cancer is gone.
Following removal of the cancer, we usually recommend stitching the hole. Typically, if we stitch up the hole it gives you a better appearing result and also the wound usually tends to heal faster. How we stitch it really depends on how big the hole and where it's located. Typically, skin cancer patients return to our office one week later for suture removal and then usually about a month and a half later just to check on the quality of the scar.