Comprehensive Ear Nose Throat
N.X. Nguyen, M.D.
Otolaryngology & Allergist located in Huntington Beach, CA
If you spend a lot of time in the sun or have a history of cancer in your family, you should be regularly checked for early signs of skin cancer. At Comprehensive Ear Nose Throat in Huntington Beach, California, Nghia Nguyen, MD offers diagnostic and treatment options, including innovative in-office biopsy and excision procedures, for several types of skin cancer. If you have a personal or family history of skin cancer or notice any suspicious marks on your skin, call or book an appointment online today.
Skin Cancer Q & A
Skin Cancer Q & A
What is skin cancer?
Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells. Typically, skin cancer develops in areas where you receive a lot of sun exposure, but it can develop anywhere on your skin. There are three main types of skin cancer:
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
Cancerous cells develop as the result of sun exposure, typically on your neck or face, appearing as a flesh-colored or brown lesion.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
Commonly develops on your face, hands, and ears, and typically appears as a flat lesion with a crusted surface.
Develops on the skin or in a mole anywhere on the body, appearing as an irregularly shaped mole that bleeds or changes color, or as a large brownish lesion.
While BCC and SCC are highly treatable, melanoma can be life-threatening; however, when caught and treated early, even melanoma has a 99% survival rate.
What are the risk factors for skin cancer?
Skin cell damage that can result in cancer is often the result of ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or from tanning beds. You may also develop abnormal skin cell growth from exposure to toxic chemicals. If you have an existing condition that weakens your immune system, you may be at an increased risk for developing cancer.
Other risk factors for skin cancer include:
- Fair skin
- A history of sunburns
- Family history of cancer
If you work outside or otherwise receive a lot of sun exposure, you may also be at increased risk for developing skin cancer.
How is skin cancer diagnosed?
During your consultation, Dr. Nguyen evaluates your skin and discusses any noticeable changes to existing moles or the appearance of new moles. If he suspects cancer, Dr. Nguyen performs an in-office biopsy, where he removes a portion of the abnormal skin or growth for further analysis.
Depending on the results of the biopsy, Dr. Nguyen may choose to remove the growth through a simple, in-office surgical procedure. Removal of the abnormal skin cells can prevent the spread of cancer to the lymph nodes and other areas of the body.
If the biopsy reveals skin cancer, Dr. Nguyen may also recommend additional testing, such as a CT scan or ultrasound, to determine if the cancer is spreading to other areas of your body. He may also provide a referral for additional treatment with a cancer specialist.
To learn more about preventing and treating skin cancer, schedule an appointment online or by calling the Huntington Beach office.