Melanoma (skin cancer) is the most common form of cancer in the United States, affecting one in five Americans by the age of 70. The good news, however, is that it is also one of the most treatable cancers. Even melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer, has a 99 percent, five-year survival rate if it is detected early enough.
Provided it hasn’t spread, skin cancer can be treated with routine surgery. Nevertheless, if you are diagnosed with skin cancer, there are certain questions you should ask your dermatologist before your treatment/procedure, such as:
How Should I Prepare for my Surgery?
Although most skin cancer procedures are fairly routine and do not require general anesthesia, MOHs surgery is a more precise technique often performed on areas of the head and neck. Accordingly, you need to know what medications or supplements you should refrain from taking before your procedure. That’s because blood thinners can affect both your surgery and recovery. Also, certain supplements, including fish oil, vitamin E, and ginko, can cause bleeding.
What will my Recovery Period be Like After Surgery?
There is no significant downtime with most skin cancer surgeries, but they are invasive and, therefore, require some aftercare and precautions. Depending on where the skin cancer is located – such as your hand, arm, or shoulder – your dermatologist may recommend limiting your activities for a brief period following the procedure to help the wound heal.
Will I Have a Scar After my Surgery, and How Should I Treat it?
During skin cancer surgery, your doctor will create as small a wound as possible. Nevertheless, it is hard to predict scar size. If the scar will be in a highly visible area, such as your face, ask your dermatologist how soon following the procedure you should begin treating it and what your options are. These may include laser treatment, silicone strips, or scar creams. With some treatments, such as Mohs surgery, scarring is very minimal due to the way the procedure is carried out, so it may not be a concern for you post-procedure.
What are the Odds I will Develop Skin Cancer Again?
Once you develop skin cancer, your risk of it recurring is higher – even if it is a different type of cancer that appears in another area of your body. You can help prevent the recurrence of skin cancer by regularly monitoring your skin and applying sunscreen each day following your surgery. You should also visit your dermatologist for skin checks more frequently.
Surgical Dermatologist Near You in Miami, Florida
If you notice a suspicious skin spot and are concerned that it may be melanoma, don’t wait to have it checked out by renowned specialist Dr. T.J. Giuffrida at Dermatology and Skin Care Center in Miami, Florida. Dr. T.J. Giuffrida is one of the leading skin cancer specialists in the United States, which is why patients from around the world come to our clinic for accurate diagnoses and the best treatments.
Dr. Giuffrida is one of the few fellowship-trained, board-certified skin cancer surgeons performing a wide variety of surgical and non-surgical treatment options, including Mohs micrographic surgery with the highest quality and competency. This procedure is a state-of-the-art skin cancer treatment in which the physician serves as surgeon, pathologist, and reconstructive surgeon.
To receive the best dermatologic treatments available, contact Dermatology and Skin Care Center today at (305) 461-2000 or use our convenient online request form to schedule your visit with Dr. Giuffrida.