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HOW COMMON IS SKIN CANCER?

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, with more than 3.5 million cases affecting more than two million people each year. Early detection and treatment of skin tumor symptoms is key, which is why it’s vital to pay attention to moles and other marks on your skin. You should see a dermatologist once a year to exam skin tumor symptoms.

The eyelid skin is the thinnest and most sensitive skin on your body. As a result, this is often the first area on your face to show change from sun damage and aging. Unfortunately, sun damage and other environmental toxins not only cause the skin to age but can cause serious damage. Skin cancer of the eyelids is relatively common and several types exist. The presence of a nodule or lesion on the eyelid that grows, bleed or ulcerates may be a skin tumor symptom and should be evaluated. This involves examination and sometimes a biopsy.

WHAT KINDS OF SKIN CANCERS SHOULD I BE WORRIED ABOUT?

There are three main kinds of skin cancer on your face you should be aware of: Basal cell carcinomasquamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. There are also “precancers” called actinic keratosis that could be a potential problem if left alone.

ACTINIC KERATOSIS

 

Here’s actinic keratosis – all those red, scaly patches. These lesions are common in older golfers and others who spend a lot of time outdoors. Without treatment, actinic keratosis can turn into a form of cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma.

BASAL CELL CARCINOMA

 

This is a classic basal cell carcinoma – the least dangerous form of skin cancer. Note the red color and the almost pearlescent look. These cancers seldom metastasize but can grow larger – and so should be removed. To minimize scarring and disfigurement, Dr Pooya performs a “frozen section” to find out immediately during surgery if indeed it is Basal Cell. This cancer is very common on the lower eyelid.

MELANOMA

 

This is the most dangerous: Melanoma. Note the color – it’s dark, almost black. The irregular, scalloped border seen in this lesion is another hallmark of melanoma. Over time, melanomas grow and thicken. The thicker the lesion, the worse the prognosis. Although melanomas are rare on the eyelid, it is still a very dangerous type of cancer and must be evaluated.

SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA

 

SCCs may occur on all areas of the body including the mucous membranes and genitals, but are most common in areas frequently exposed to the sun, such as the rim of the ear, lower lip, face, bald scalp, neck, hands, arms and legs. Often the skin in these areas reveals telltale signs of sun damage, such as wrinkling, changes in pigmentation, and loss of elasticity. SCCs often look like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression, or warts; they may crust or bleed. SCC is mainly caused by cumulative UV exposure over the course of a lifetime

 WHEN SHOULD I BE CONCERNED WITH SKIN LESIONS AND WHEN SHOULD I SEE Dr Pooya?

Anytime a lesion changes shape, size, color, and texture over few months, you should come in to see Dr Pooya for an evaluation of your skin tumor symptoms and possible biopsy.

Treatment

Dr Pooya will remove your skin cancer and reconstruct the eyelid or area where the tumor was removed. Dr Pooya sometimes will do this at a surgical facility with an on site pathologist who can immediately examine the specimen to ensure the whole tumor was removed. Other times, the help of a dermatologic surgeon specializing in Mohs surgical excision will be utilized. This procedure is completed into two steps, the first with immediate examination of the tumor to ensure its complete removal followed by the reconstructive surgery. Oculo-Facial plastic surgeons like Dr Pooya are the optimal person to repair these defects as the eyelid is quite delicate.