Patients or family members initially notice over 75 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers/keratinocyte carcinomas. Therefore, it is important to bring any suspicious spot to a doctor’s attention. Doctors perform various tests to detect and diagnose skin cancer.
In addition, doctors also conduct tests to understand whether cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This is known as metastasis. A dermatology specialist may perform tests to determine which treatments could be most effective for a particular condition.
A biopsy is the most certain approach for a doctor to understand whether a body area has cancer for many types of cancer. The doctor may consider the following aspects when selecting a diagnostic test:
- Cancer type suspected
- Signs and symptoms of the patient
- The patient’s age and health condition
- The outcomes of previous medical tests
Suncoast Skin Solutions, led by successful board certified dermatologist Dr. Christopher Ewanowski, provides proven and effective skin care treatments to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brookesville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, The Villages Central Florida, Florida, and other towns and cities in this region of the nation.
Non-melanoma skin cancer only spreads in rare cases. Therefore, a biopsy is usually the only test required to detect and find out the extent (stage) of cancer. A biopsy refers to the removal of a tiny amount of tissue for examination using a microscope.
During a biopsy, the suspicious skin spot is excised. A local anesthetic is typically used to numb the area before the removal. The doctor will also excise a healthy area of tissue surrounding the lesion, known as the margin.
The sample excised during the biopsy is evaluated by a pathologist to establish whether it is skin cancer. A pathologist is a doctor specializing in the interpretation of lab test and assessment of cells, organs, and tissues to diagnose disease.
The doctor will evaluate the biopsy results with the patient. In case the biopsy successfully removes entire cancer, no further treatment will be needed. But if cancer cells are present in the margins of the excised tissue, the patient will typically require further treatment.
- The treatment depends on whether the patient has squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, basal cell carcinoma, or actinic keratosis.
- The eight standard treatment types are as follows:
- Chemical peel
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
- Photodynamic therapy
- Other drug therapy
- Clinical trials are on-going for new types of treatments.
- Skin cancer treatment may lead to side-effects.
- Patients can consider participating in a clinical trial.
- Patients can participate in clinical trials prior to, during, or following their cancer treatment.
- Patients may require follow-up tests.
Treatments for patients with basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, and actinic keratosis
Various types of treatment options are available for patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, basal cell carcinoma, and actinic keratosis. Some of these treatments are standard (which means that they are being used presently), while others are still being evaluated in clinical trials.
The clinical trial of a treatment refers to a research study which seeks to improve current treatments or gather information on new treatments for patients with cancer. Clinical trials may indicate that a new treatment is more effective than a standard treatment. In this case, the new treatment takes the place of the standard treatment.
Patients may consider participating in a clinical trial. Only patients who have not begun treatment are eligible for certain clinical trials.
The cordial Dr. Ewanowski’s skin care clinic is equipped to provide advanced medical and aesthetic skin care solutions to patients in Tampa, Brandon, Lutz, Seminole, Riverview, Brookesville, Winter Haven, Daytona Beach, Largo, St. Petersburg, Ocala, The Villages Central Florida, Florida, and nearby areas across the landscape.
SunCoast Skin Solutions Dermatology offices are located in Tampa / Hillsborough, St. Petersburg / Pinellas County, Brandon, Lutz (2 locations), Winter Haven, Largo, Riverview, Brooksville, Ocala, Largo at Bardmoor, Daytona Beach, Sarasota, and Palm Harbor, Florida. Contact us at 1-844-786-3376 or click here.