Skin Cancer

skin cancerSkin cancer is the most common type of cancer, and early detection and treatment can lead to excellent outcomes. Saif Fatteh, MD, of Lansing Podiatry & Dermatology in Mt. Pleasant and East Lansing, Michigan, has the training and expertise to treat both simple and complex skin cancers. If you’re concerned about changes in your skin or are seeking top-quality skin cancer treatment, come in and sit down with Dr. Fatteh to discuss your specific set of needs. Online booking is available, or you can always call to check availability.

What is skin cancer?

There are many types of skin cancer, but all share the commonality of uncontrolled skin cell growth. Skin cancer occurs when something in the environment triggers genetic mutations or defects that prompt your skin cells to rapidly multiply and form tumors.

The treatment path for skin cancer depends on the type of cancer and how far the disease has progressed.

Basal cell cancer

The most common type of skin cancer, basal cell carcinomas develop in the basal cells of your skin, located in the deepest layer of your epidermis. They rarely spread and respond very well to treatment.

Squamous cell cancer

This is the second most common type of skin cancer and occurs in the outermost layer of your epidermis. If allowed to grow without treatment, squamous cell carcinomas can become disfiguring.

Melanoma

This is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Left untreated it can spread into the deeper layers of your skin and eventually to other parts of your body. Early detection is the key to successfully treating melanoma.

What causes skin cancer?

The primary cause of all types of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet rays, whether from the sun or from sources like tanning beds. Your risk level rises every time you experience a blistering or peeling sunburn.

People with light skin and eyes have an elevated risk of skin cancer, but even those with darker skin can develop the disease. Those who work outdoors have higher rates due to years of UV exposure. There is also a genetic component to skin cancer, so if you have a family member with skin cancer — particularly melanoma — you should consider making an appointment with Dr. Fatteh for a diagnostic exam.

How is skin cancer treated?

Treatments vary depending on the type of skin cancer, the location on your body, and how far the disease has progressed. Dr. Fatteh has a wide range of treatment options to choose from, and he can explain which methods offer the best chance of eliminating your skin cancer.

Some cancers can be removed using liquid nitrogen to freeze away damaged tissue. Excisional surgery is another option, which works by simply cutting away cancerous tissues. Mohs surgery is a good approach for basal and squamous cell cancers; this works by removing incredibly thin layers of tissue and using a microscope to look for abnormal cells until a healthy layer of tissue is reached.

A powered blade or electrical current can also remove cancerous tissue. Laser therapy is sometimes a good option, and there are even biologic therapy options that harness the power of your own immune system to destroy cancer cells.

Dr. Fatteh designs a treatment plan to meet your specific needs. He thoroughly explains the process at every step along the way. Book your appointment online or by phone to get started.