Skin Cancer Surgery

skin cancer screening

Skin cancer screenings are visits that are dedicated to observing the skin for signs of skin cancer. Know that your Dr. Khalil Khatri recommending a skin cancer screening does not mean that they suspect you have skin cancer. Dr. Khatri conducts routine screenings without direct cause simply as a way to detect changes in the skin as quickly as possible.

Skin Cancer | Skin & Laser Surgery Center of New England

Why are skin cancer screenings necessary?

Every year in our country, there are millions of new skin cancer diagnoses. The purpose of skin cancer screenings is to observe the condition of moles and other growths on the skin for possible characteristics of the common forms of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

Studies have confirmed that early detection is the most significant factor in curing non-melanoma skin cancers. Additionally, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute has claimed that full-body skin cancer screenings can decrease mortality from melanoma up to 63%. This is important because melanoma can occur anywhere on the body and spread to other tissue and organs, creating a mortality risk.

Skin Cancer Full Body Exam

Full body skin cancer screenings take only 10 to 15 minutes and include thorough discussion as much as observation. In addition to evaluating growths and moles, Dr. Khatri will educate you about what constitutes an abnormal growth versus one that is normal. Your medical history is reviewed and we answer all of your questions regarding skin cancer, your risks, and what we are observing during your exam. If you have any spots that are concerning, point them out at this time.

Your full-body skin cancer screening can provide a baseline for your medical record and also a foundation for you to use when conducting self-exams at home. If abnormal tissue is identified during your screening, a small biopsy will be taken so skin cells can be examined under a microscope in a lab setting. A pathologist’s exam will confirm or refute that the suspicious growth is cancerous.

Signs of Cancerous or Pre-Cancerous Cells

A skin cancer screening looks for particular characteristics that may indicate the presence of cancerous or pre-cancerous cells. These characteristics include:

  • Asymmetrical shape
  • Large diameter
  • Borders (edges) that are scalloped or otherwise irregular
  • Multiple colors in one growth
  • Evolution of a mole or growth over time

Which areas of my body will be screened for skin cancer?

Your skin cancer screening can follow parameters with which you are most comfortable. However, there is significant benefit to a full head-to-toe exam that includes the scalp, breasts, underarms, genitals, feet, fingernails, and toenails along with skin that is routinely exposed to the sun. The reason for this is because melanoma can develop in areas of skin that are usually covered and protected from sun exposure.

How Often Should You Get a Skin Cancer Exam?

Dr. Khatri discusses the skin cancer screening schedule that is ideal for you based on the findings of your initial exam and your personal risk factors for skin cancer. Our practice encourages all patients to conduct monthly self-exams to allow the greatest familiarity with your own skin. Additionally, professional full-body screenings may be advised as a yearly exam.

What is skin cancer?

The general condition of cancer occurs when the growth of certain cells becomes abnormal. Skin cancer, the leading form of cancer in our country, involves the irregular growth of certain types of skin cells.

Skin Cancer Patient Testimonial

What are the 3 types of Skin Cancer?

The incidence of skin cancer has risen in past few years. We treat all types of skin cancers including the following:

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Malignant Melanoma

Treatment of some skin cancers can be non-surgical however most require surgery. We perform skin cancer surgeries almost every day, weather it is treating a small pre-cancerous spot or a large skin cancer on the face requiring a skin flap or graft. Dr. Khatri performs all surgeries in either one of our locations under local anesthesia.

Basal Cell Carcinoma: The leading type of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma affects more than 3 million people each year. Basal cells make up the innermost layer of the epidermis. These cells are responsible for generating new skin cells. Basal cell carcinoma occurs when the DNA in basal cells mutates. This is usually resultant from UV exposure during tanning or use of a tanning bed.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Squamous cell carcinoma occurs in approximately 700,000 patients each year. This type of skin cancer originates in the squamous cells that comprise the middle and outer layers of the skin. The second most common non-melanoma skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma can grow large enough to cause disfigurement. It may also spread to other parts of the body, causing potentially serious complications. However, this type of skin cancer is not normally life-threatening.

Malignant Melanoma: The least common type of skin cancer has been increasing over the past decade, now affecting more than 200,000 people each year. It is not believed that melanoma is directly caused by UV exposure, but research has shown that this can significantly increase the risk of this type of skin cancer. Melanoma develops in the melanocyte cells, which give the skin pigment. It can form anywhere on the body and even, rarely, internally.

risk factors for skin cancer

There are several genetic, lifestyle, and general factors that pose a risk for skin cancer. These include:

  • A family history of skin cancer
  • Personal history of severe sunburn
  • Frequent and consistent tanning (even one tan creates a risk)
  • Numerous moles
  • Smoking
  • Weakened immune system

Older individuals are more at risk for skin cancer due to more years of time in the sun. However, younger people who have a habit of tanning or using tanning beds have become a significant demographic in skin cancer patients.

Common symptoms of skin cancer

The primary indication of skin cancer is an irregular growth. Performing routine skin cancer exams at home helps you to know what is normal and abnormal for your skin. Some of the characteristics that suggest irregular cellular growth include:

  • A waxy, transparent or white bump on the skin
  • A red lesion with rough or raised edges
  • A spot on the skin that bleeds or oozes easily
  • Any mole or growth that changes in size, shape, texture, or color

When is a mole dangerous or high risk for becoming a skin cancer?

A common mole is one that may have been present at birth or from childhood. However, common moles can develop until around the age of 40. A mole that is considered normal is usually smaller than a pencil eraser, about ¼ inch in diameter. A common mole may be brown, tan, or pink and will have a distinct edge and a dome shape. It may be oval or round but will be even on both sides. People with a darker complexion may have darker-colored moles and those with a lighter complexion may have lighter-colored moles.

A mole that displays characteristics of skin cancer, such as a large diameter, irregular borders, textural irregularities, or multiple colors may be at risk for becoming skin cancer. A mole that is oddly shaped or disproportionate from one side to the other should be evaluated by your doctor, as should moles that become dry and scaly or that frequently bleed.

What are the Skin Cancer tests?

Skin cancer is usually diagnosed by observing a biopsy of tissue under a microscope. Depending on the type and size of the lesion, this may be the extent of testing needed.

When a lesion is larger or suspected to have spread, additional tests may include imaging to observe nearby lymph nodes or a minor procedure to biopsy a small amount of lymph node tissue for microscopic evaluation.

Skin Cancer Treatment Options

Basal cell carcinoma

  • Laser treatment
  • Freezing with liquid nitrogen
  • Surgical excision
  • Electrodesiccation and curettage
  • Topical medication for superficial lesions
  • Oral or other medication for advanced basal cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma

  • Laser treatment
  • Freezing with liquid nitrogen
  • Surgical excision
  • Electrodesiccation and curettage
  • Curettage and cryotherapy (freezing)
  • Photodynamic therapy, a combination of medication and light
  • Topical medication for superficial lesions
  • Radiation therapy for deeper growths

Melanoma

  • Laser treatment for early-stage melanoma lesions
  • Surgical removal
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy to affect abnormal cell growth
  • Immunotherapy to reduce the risk of recurrence in certain cases

Skin Cancer Surgery

In the following video, Dr. Khatri shows the initial steps in skin cancer surgery at the practice.

Skin Cancer Surgery Before & After Photos

Schedule a Consultation

Schedule your skin cancer screening or consultation to discuss a concern you have about a growth or mole. Contact our office to schedule a consultation at either our Nashua, Revere, or Chelmsford location.

For the best Dermatologic & Cosmetic Laser Services in New England please call us!


Nashua, NH
(603) 886-5506


Revere, Ma
(617) 381-1717


Chelmsford, Ma
(978) 453-5559

Let us bring out the best in you
Contact our office

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Three convenient new england locations
Locate our offices

Dermatology | Boston | Nashua NH
74 Allds Street
Nashua, NH 03060(603) 886-5506

Directions

Dermatology | Boston | Nashua NH
376 Ocean Ave. Suite C 102/103
Revere, Ma 02151(617) 381-1717

Directions

Dermatology | Boston | Nashua NH
6 Courthouse Lane
Chelmsford, Ma 01824(978) 453-5559

Directions