Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with over 2 million cases diagnosed annually. A dermatologist should evaluate any suspicious, hard, scaly, irregular, crusty, or rapidly growing suspicious lesion. Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, can even develop in a mole you have had your entire life. Did you know Minnesota ranks 3rd in new melanoma diagnosis in the country? Melanoma is highly treatable if caught early. Melanoma can be found on any body part — not just the face!
Your skin is your biggest organ! At Tareen Dermatology, we recommend routine skin checks at least once per year.
Full Body Skin Exam
At Tareen Dermatology a large part of what we do are routine skin cancer screenings or routine full body skin exams. So why are full body skin exams important? Full body skin exams are one of the best ways to help prevent the occurrence or re-occurrence of skin cancers. When skin cancers, especially Melanomas, are detected early, skin cancer treatment can be easy, however, if left alone can be life threatening.
So what can I expect at my first Full Body Skin Exam?
First, one of our medical assistant’s will bring you back at your scheduled appointment time and perform a complete medical patient intake. Our medical assistants will discuss your medical history, your current medications, and your prior skin disease cancer history (if any), as well as discuss your concerns. Once the intake is complete, the medical assistant will step out of the room so you will change into a medical gown (everything comes off except for your underwear). Once you’ve had time to change, the medical assistant will return to the exam room and perform a “preliminary exam” and mark out any concerning lesions, moles, or other skin conditions on your body. This process is very important as it allows all patient concerns to be addressed precisely and individually during the entire body exam. Once the medical assistant has completed the “preliminary exam”, they will leave the room to present to one of our providers. Next, the provider and medical assistant will re-enter the room and perform a thorough head-to-toe check of your body for any concerning lesions or skin conditions. Any suspicious lesion that is hard, scaly, irregular, crusty, or rapidly growing or changing may be recommended for removal and sent to a pathologist for testing (biopsy). We will work with you to discuss expectations of the recommended treatment plan, post-care instructions, and results.
Types of Growths
Many types of skin growths can be easily removed through simple skin surgery which is a minor outpatient procedure. Growths may be either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous) so a biopsy and microscopic examination should always be performed. If a growth is determined to be malignant, further definitive treatment is required.
Depending on the type of lesion, our board-certified dermatologists will decide to either perform a tangential shave in which the growth is numbed and then precisely planed with a blade. In this case, no sutures are placed, and the wound heals naturally, just as a scrape would. Alternatively, a deeper elliptical excision may be performed with a scalpel and suture closure. This is required for deeper growths, including some types of moles and skin cancers. Some limitations will be placed on your exertional activity after the surgery, but there is generally no other major downtime associated with simple surgery.
Most skin surgery results in small line scars that eventually fade into the surrounding skin. In patients prone to keloids, raised scars may develop and can be treated with steroid injections. Stretching of scars is not uncommon on the trunk, and especially the back, given the vectors of forces derived from back movements and stretching.
If you develop a growth on your skin, it is important to have it evaluated promptly, and if there is ongoing growth or change, a biopsy must be performed. Examples of common benign and malignant growths removed in:
Benign Skin Growths
Warts and Skin Tags
Malignant Skin Cancers
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
What is a Dysplastic Nevus?
Skin cancer is on the rise and is a health issue that is becoming all too common right here in <our community> and around the world.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
We’re pleased to be the only dermatology clinic in Minnesota to now offer our patients a new, scalpel-free, non-surgical treatment option for non-melanoma skin cancer. Our newly acquired SRT-100 Vision™ system uses SRT (Superficial RadioTherapy), an excellent alternative treatment with a 95+% cure rate and ultrasound image guidance that rivals surgery.
Although traditional skin cancer procedures are still effective, they require surgical incisions that can result in painful healing, stop in necessary medications and lengthy recovery. SRT is an innovative “cure without cutting” with short treatment sessions here in the comfort of our office with clear benefits:
• No anesthesia, cutting, stitching, scarring or pain
• No downtime or lifestyle restrictions
• No need for post-treatment reconstructive surgeries
SRT delivers a precise, low dose of radiation that only goes skin deep and safely destroys cancer cells without damaging the healthy surrounding tissue.
Are you or your patients a candidate for SRT? If you have basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma, speak with us about SRT. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have. Call us now 651-633-6883 to schedule your screening or to schedule an appointment.
SRT or Superficial Radiotherapy. SRT utilizes a small portable device that delivers very low energy just below the surface of the skin. Using a precise, calibrated dose of Superficial Radiation Therapy (SRT) that only penetrates five millimeters below the skin’s surface, this minimally invasive treatment effectively removes both basal and squamous cell carcinoma (non-melanoma skin cancer), and unattractive keloids. Best of all, the SRT-100 Vision does it without cutting, bleeding, stitching, pain or scarring.
Not only this, but the SRT-100 Vision allows physicians to see and treat the affected areas. For patients who want the ultimate in advanced superficial radiation technology, the SRT-100 Vision offers high-frequency ultrasound for imaging. This allows our physicians to view the areas being treated and assess them more thoroughly so treatment can be targeted more precisely.
Treatments generally take 15 minutes total (simulation on the first day takes 45 mins). We generally like to see the patient 3 times a week for treatments, totaling up to 20 treatments to the area of interest.