You notice that strange mole on your arm, but don’t think much about it beyond that. Then you start to notice that it is changing size and color, and you start to wonder if this is something you should be concerned about. The answer is “yes”! You should see your doctor right away if there is even a hint you may have skin cancer. Read on for more information about how the staff at Jeffrey C. Dawes, MD, FRCSC Plastic and Dermatologic Surgery can help.
What you should know about skin cancer
Skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer and it can be deadly. There are three main types: melanoma and basal and squamous cell carcinoma. It can affect anyone, no matter what their skin tone is or how much time they spend in the sun – basal and squamous cell carcinomas are typically found in areas that are often exposed to the sun, but melanomas can be found even in areas that hardly ever see the sun. People with a family history of skin cancer or fair skin are more at risk for skin cancer. You are also at higher risk for the disease if you’ve had one or more serious sunburns.
What is Mohs surgery?
Mohs surgery is a way to effectively remove skin cancer cells while leaving the surrounding, healthy tissue intact. It is an outpatient procedure, performed with local anesthesia, and has a very high cancer cure rate. The benefit of having this procedure done at Plastic and Dermatologic Surgery is that Dr. Dawes, one of only two plastic surgeons trained in the procedure in Canada, can remove the cancer and then perform any reconstruction on the area in the same day.
You should always take care of your skin and watch out for any irregularities, such as a mole that changes size or color or a lesion that burns and is painful. Wear sunscreen all year round, avoid tanning beds, and wear long-sleeved clothing to protect you from the sun. If you notice anything that seems unusual, see your doctor right away. Call the office of Jeffrey C. Dawes, MD, FRCSC Plastic and Dermatologic Surgery in Calgary, (403) 571-3141, for a Mohs surgery consultation today!