Personalized Skin Cancer Treatment in Tulsa

With the sunny weather we regularly face in the United states, it is important to continue to check your skin for any new growths on a regular basis. When your skin shows a discoloration or a new bump—it is important to have it looked at. 

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer among Americans. But it is also highly treatable—especially when you find a doctor you can trust to treat you. At Midtown Surgical & Skin Institute, we provide personalized, patient-centered care focused on what is best for you, so you can enjoy your life. 

Know the Signs and Symptoms

When skin cancer is assessed and treated early, the better your chances of a full cancer-free recovery. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, have them examined by a doctor.

Common Skin Cancer Symptoms

  • A non-healing sore (may be painless)
  • Fast-growing lesions (under the skin, or on the skin)
  • Uneven, asymmetric moles or skin lesions or blemishes
  • Irregular borders of skin lesion
  • Multiple colors or shades within the skin lesion
  • Spots, lesions, moles that are bigger than the size of a pencil eraser (>6mm)
  • Skin lesions that are changing (size, borders, or color)
  • Spots or lesions that look different from your normal moles or freckles

Where Symptoms Can Appear 

Most often, skin cancers develop on areas exposed to the sun:

  • Scalp
  • Face
  • Ears
  • Lips
  • Neck
  • Chest
  • Back
  • Arms
  • Hands
  • Legs

Occasionally, you may develop skin cancer in areas normally covered by clothing too.

  • Palms
  • Soles
  • Underneath fingernails and toenails
  • Within tattoos
  • Genital area

For this reason, a full body check by a skin doctor is recommended.

Most Common Types of Skin Cancer

  • Basal cell cancer — Typically appearing on sun-exposed skin as a waxy bump, flat flesh-colored mark, or bleeding and scabbing sore that comes and goes and never heals. 80% of all cancerous skin lesions fall into this category.
  • Melanoma — The most deadly of the skin cancers, melanoma has a high rate of cure when caught and treated early. Risk factors include: large number of moles or freckles, fair hair or fair skin, family members who had melanoma, history of a severe sunburn, excessive UV exposure from tanning beds, or lived at high elevation.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma — Usually appearing on sun-exposed skin, squamous cell skin cancer is often seen on face, ears and hands. Looks like a firm red nodule or flat, scaly, cratered, crusted lesion that is easily traumatized.

Rare skin cancers include:

  • Angiosarcoma — Forms within blood vessels and lymph nodes
  • Cutaneous B-cell lymphoma — Forms in white blood cells and causes bumps under skin
  • Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma — Forms in white blood cells and causes red rashes
  • Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans — Begins in skin’s connective tissue cells and appears as bruises, scars, or lumps 
  • Merkel cell carcinoma — Appears as flesh-colored or bluish-red nodule
  • Sebaceous carcinoma — Forms in oil glands, most often beginning as a painless lump on eyelid 

Treatments for Skin Cancer 

If skin cancer is suspected, your doctor at Midtown Surgical will:

  • Do a visual examination of your skin
  • Perform a biopsy of any spots that look suspicious
  • Depending on the cancer type and stage, treatments will vary and can include: Prescription creams, Surgery to remove the cancerous lesions, Surgery to obtain a lymph node sample, Radiation and chemotherapy for advanced cases

Remember, skin cancer can be successfully treated by professional medical intervention if addressed early. Have questions? We will be glad to answer them in your consultation with us.

Recovery Time

Depending on the type and stage of skin cancer, recovery time can vary:

  • A few days of healing from an incision to remove the cancerous skin lesion. 
  • 2 weeks for multiple incisions from sampling lymph nodes and skin cancer excision.
  • Longer, if radiation or chemotherapy need to be used.
  • Melanoma requires significant margins around the skin cancer; therefore, they require large incisions to remove all of it with clear margins. 

Recommended Diet Changes

To help prevent skin cancer from occurring, it is important to eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that unhealthy items like processed foods and foods high in sugar can increase cancer’s growth. It is recommended to eliminate these items from your diet as much as you can. If you are looking to improve your current eating habits, the Mediterranean diet is a good place to begin for overall health.

FAQs

What are the most common risk factors for skin cancer?

Fair skin, numerous moles or freckles, frequent and/or severe sunburns, use of tanning beds, high exposure to sun (such as a job outdoors), living at high-altitude climates, living near the equator, personal or family history of skin cancer, weakened immune system, exposure to radiation or certain poisonous substances. 

Can dark-skinned people get skin cancer?

Yes, skin cancer can affect people of all skin colors, and it can be deadly if not treated early.

Will using a high-SPF sunscreen prevent skin cancer? 

Using sunscreen of at least 30 SPF can lessen your risks of getting a sunburn, which is a risk factor for skin cancer. Sunscreen must be reapplied frequently to be most effective. 

Can young people get skin cancer? Or only older people?

Skin cancer can develop at any age, but it is more common in those who are older and have weakened immune systems. But if you see a suspicious skin lesion or blemish, no matter your age, it is best to have it checked out as soon as possible.

Can getting a tan protect your skin?

Unfortunately, no. A base tan can’t protect you from skin cancer. Since tanning exposes your skin to harmful UV rays, it puts you at higher risk of skin cancer than if you avoid the sun. And tanning beds are just as harmful because they expose you to dangerous UV light.

What’s the best way to avoid getting skin cancer?

Limit your exposure to the sun, especially between the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you need to be in the sun, apply sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher, and wear sunglasses, a hat, and protective clothing to cover exposed skin. Check your skin monthly for strange spots and other signs of skin cancer.

Schedule A Consultation

Take control of your health and your life by choosing medical providers who are caring and concerned, open and honest. Set up a consultation visit today to see firsthand the compassionate care you will receive from our skilled and friendly team.

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Meet your Doctor

William Hanner D.O.

Surgeon and Founder

General Surgery
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