About 10% of Floridians have skin cancer, and many others have actinic keratosis (precancerous growth). In Venice, Florida, Board-Certified Dermatologist Hobart K. Richey, MD, offers skin cancer screenings, diagnosis, and treatment in the office. While skin cancer can be deadly, it’s also very treatable when identified early. The Hobart K. Richey, MD, PA, office is ready to help, so call or book your appointment using the online scheduling link now.
The major types of skin cancer are:
Basal cell carcinoma, the most common skin cancer, occurs in the basal cells that create new skin cells. It usually appears on the head, neck, arms, or other parts of the body that tend to get a lot of sunlight exposure. This kind of cancer grows slowly; however, it could expand into other areas if you don’t remove it.
Squamous cell carcinoma is less common than basal cell carcinoma but far more common than melanoma. It occurs in the squamous cells that line and protect your skin. It usually occurs in sun-exposed areas. Squamous cell carcinoma grows slowly, but, like basal cell carcinoma, can spread to cause serious damage over time if untreated.
Melanoma is a potentially deadly form of cancer. It affects the melanocytes that contain skin pigment (color). This type of cancer can grow very fast, going from the first appearance to life-threatening in as little as six weeks. Melanoma can grow anywhere but often appears on the legs, face, arms, and back.
Skin cancer screenings are the best way to identify the signs of skin cancer so you can get help.
All adults should regularly check their skin at home to look for new or changing growths, for example, suspicious moles. In addition, you should schedule comprehensive skin exams at least once a year with Dr. Richey. If you have a history of skin cancer, you may need skin exams more often.
During exams, Dr. Richey can diagnose actinic keratoses (precancerous growths), basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Early detection is remarkably effective, with 99% of all cases being curable if caught early enough.
Treatment depends on your exact type of cancer and its growth rate. In most cases, in-office dermatologic surgery is the treatment of choice for skin cancer. With this type of procedure, Dr. Richey can expertly remove the entire cancerous growth along with some of the surrounding tissue.
For some smaller cancerous growths, Dr. Richey may perform a freezing treatment using liquid nitrogen to destroy the cancerous tissue. For more severe skin cancers, you may need additional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.
There are a number of other treatment options for skin cancer as well. Dr. Richey uses the most conservative but thorough approach possible to remove your skin cancer.
If you need a skin cancer screening or have a new or changing skin growth, the Hobart K. Richey, MD, PA, office is here to help. Book your appointment online or call the Venice office today.