Because exposure to ultraviolet radiation (the sun and tanning booths) is a primary risk factor, anyone can develop a melanoma skin cancer.
A family history of melanoma will also greatly increase a person’s risk. The diagnosis of a melanoma is determined by a biopsy.
Excision will cut out the skin cancer as well as a small amount of the surrounding tissue known as a margin after the area has been numbed.
Mohs surgery (pronounced “moes”) is a highly specialized and precise surgery that removes the least amount of tissue to eradicate the cancer and preserve as much healthy tissue as possible. Mohs surgery has the highest cure rate for skin cancers. It is an in-office procedure that may take several hours. The surgeon removes the cancer, as well as a very small amount of the surrounding tissue, which is immediately examined under a microscope. These steps are repeated until the cancer is completely eradicated.
Further Evaluation and Treatment may include a consultation with a medical or surgical oncologist. Our dermatologists will follow your care in partnership with you and your consulting physicians throughout the course of your treatment.
A = Asymmetry
One half is unlike the other half.
B = Border
An irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined border.
C = Color
Is varied from one area to another; has shades of tan, brown or black, or is sometimes white, red, or blue.
D = Diameter
Melanomas usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, but they can be smaller.
E = Evolving
A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape, or color.
Images used with permission from the American Academy of Dermatology. All rights reserved.