Researchers estimate that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Though common, without prompt diagnosis and treatment, skin cancer can increase your risk of serious health problems, including premature death. At Hauw T Han, MD, LLC, in West Chester, Ohio, board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Hauw T Han, MD, treats skin cancer in people of all ages and ethnicities. If you’re concerned about your risk of skin cancer, book an appointment with the online scheduling tool, or call the office today.

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What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer refers to a group of diseases that cause your skin cells to divide and multiply uncontrollably. It typically occurs on areas of skin that are regularly exposed to sunlight, but it can develop elsewhere as well.

Skin cancer falls into three main categories, squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, and basal cell carcinoma. If you notice an unusual mole or growth, contact Dr. Han right away.

What are the symptoms of skin cancer?

The symptoms of skin cancer vary from person-to-person and depend on the underlying type:

Basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma typically forms on the neck or face. It usually appears as a pearly or waxy bump; a flat, flesh-colored scar or lesion; or a bleeding, scabby sore that heals and recurs.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma typically forms on the hands, ears, or face. It usually appears as a firm, red nodule or a flat lesion with a scaly, crust-like surface.

Melanoma

Melanoma can form anywhere on the body. In men, it’s especially common on the face, chest, or back; in women, it tends to develop on the lower legs. Symptoms of melanoma include a large brown spot, a painful lesion that itches or burns, or a mole that changes in color or size.

Who is at risk of experiencing skin cancer?

You’re more likely to experience skin cancer if you:

  • Live in a high-altitude climate
  • Have many moles
  • Have precancerous skin lesions
  • Have a family history of skin cancer
  • Have a weakened immune system

You’re also more likely to develop skin cancer if you’ve been exposed to radiation or other toxic substances like arsenic.

How is skin cancer diagnosed?

To diagnose skin cancer, Dr. Han physically examines your skin, reviews your health history, and asks about your lifestyle and symptoms, including if you wear sunscreen, if you smoke, and when you first noticed the unusual growth or lesion.

If he pinpoints one or several lesions that look potentially cancerous, he takes a biopsy. During a biopsy, Dr. Han carefully removes a small piece of skin. He sends the biopsy to a laboratory that analyzes it for cancerous or precancerous cells.

How is skin cancer treated?

Treatment of skin cancer depends on the type, location, and severity. Following a comprehensive consultation, Dr. Han might recommend:

  • Freezing the cancer
  • Excisional surgery
  • Mohs surgery
  • Curettage and electrodesiccation
  • Photodynamic therapy

You might also benefit from radiation or chemotherapy.

If your skin cancer spreads and requires surgical removal, Dr. Han can develop a cosmetic treatment plan that replaces your skin, restoring it to a healthy, vibrant condition.

To receive treatment for skin cancer, request a consultation at Hauw T Han, MD, LLC. Book an appointment with the online scheduling tool, or call the office today.