Skin Cancer Treatment & Prevention
Skin Cancer Treatment
MOHS surgery is a highly specialized skin cancer removal procedure that is very precise and less invasive. MOHS has an impressive cure rate because it allows Dr. Dubow to look for cancer cells during the surgical process. For new cases of the most common types of skin cancer, BCC and SCC, the cure rate is 100%. If the skin cancer has returned after a previous treatment, the cure rate for BCC and SCC is 95%. Dr. Dubow will continue with the removal of the cancerous cell until it is completely removed. MOHS is a great treatment for skin cancer because Dr. Dubow removes only skin and tissue that contain cancer, allowing the patient to keep as much healthy tissue as possible. This is especially beneficial for skin cancer on face.
Dr. Dubow performs the MOHS surgery in office in Beverly Hills under local anesthetic. Dr. Dubow first removes the visible part of the skin cancer and then begins removing the cancer cells that are not visible to the naked eye. This is done by removing the cancer cells one thin layer at a time. Each layer is checked under a microscope, and this layer-by-layer procedure is repeated until the last layer viewed is cancer free.
Other Skin Cancer Treatments
In addition to MOHS, Beverly Hills Dermatologist Dr. Dubow can perform various other treatments of skin cancer, including:
Curettage and Electrodesiccation – The growth is scraped off with a scalpel or curette. The procedure is repeated a few times to ensure that all cancer cells are removed.
Excisional Surgery – Using a scalpel, Dr. Dubow removes the entire growth along with a surrounding border of apparently normal skin as a safety margin. The incision is closed and the growth is sent to the lab to verify that all the cancerous cells were removed.
Cryotherapy - Liquid nitrogen is applied to the lesion to freeze it off.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) – A topical agent, Levulan, is applied to the moles and skin cancer at the Dr. Dubow Dermatology & Laser office and the next day the patient returns and the medicated areas are treated with a strong light. This treatment selectively destroys AKs while causing minimal damage to the surrounding skin.
Topical Chemotherapy Agents – These treat both visible and invisible lesions with minimal risk of scarring. Common topical agents include Aldara, Effudex and Carac.
Skin Cancer Prevention
Most skin cancers result from too much exposure to the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. The ultraviolet A (UVA) rays can cause wrinkles, age spots and tans, while the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays cause sunburns. Both the UVA and UVB rays are harmful and can cause skin cancer. It is essential to protect your skin from these damaging rays in order to prevent skin cancer.
Every day you should be applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 to your face, neck and chest. Broad-spectrum sunscreens provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
On days in which you will be in the sun for long periods of time is important to make sure all of your exposed skin is protected by sunscreen.
Additionally, wearing a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing will further help reduce sun damage to your skin.
Annual Skin Checks
It is important to get annual skin checks with one of our board-certified Beverly Hills Dermatologists, especially if you have:
- A personal or family history of skin cancer
- Have had a bad sunburn
- Have very fair skin
Regular skin exams help people find early skin cancers.
Early detection and treatment is key to surviving melanoma. In addition to visiting the dermatologist for skin cancer screenings, you should become familiar with your skin and your own pattern of moles and freckles. Make sure you look at your entire body every month or two, and consult a dermatologist if you notice any changes.