Two of the most common types of skin cancer are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. If you have one of these, or a rare form of skin cancer, Brooke Walls, DO, is a skilled dermatologist and Harvard-fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon who specializes in diagnosing and treating all types of skin cancer. At her practice, Aspen Center for Cosmetic Medicine & Dermatology in Aspen, Colorado, Dr. Walls provides comprehensive skin cancer care for patients of all ages. Call to schedule a consultation or book online today.
What are the three main types of skin cancer?
More Americans receive a skin cancer diagnosis each year than all other cancers combined. The three most common types of skin cancer include:
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
BCC is the most common form of skin cancer, and it looks like a flesh-colored or pearl-like bump on the surface of your skin. BCC may also appear as a pink-colored patch of skin, or like an open wound. You can get this type of skin cancer anywhere on your body, but it commonly appears on your head, neck, and arms.
Basal cell carcinoma is highly treatable with Mohs surgery, and almost never spreads (metastasizes) to other parts of your body.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
The second most common form of skin cancer, SCC frequently looks like a red, firm bump or a scaly patch of skin that heals and reopens. It may bleed and crust over, too. You can get SCC anywhere on your body, but it’s commonly found on areas that are most exposed to the sun, such as your arms, legs, and face.
Melanoma is the most dangerous, potentially deadly, form of skin cancer. It often begins as a change to an existing mole, or a sudden new dark spot on your skin. If recognized and treated early, it’s almost always curable, but if not, it can metastasize and become fatal
How does a dermatologist treat skin cancer?
Once she diagnoses your specific type of skin cancer, Dr. Walls prescribes the most effective course of treatment. She is fellowship-trained in rare skin cancers, making her an expert at recognizing specific types of cancers and recommending the best treatments. She is also certified in Mohs micrographic surgery, the most precise technique for treating BCC, SCC, and other types of skin cancer.
Your state-of-the-art skin cancer treatment may include any of the following:
- Chemical peels
- Laser surgery
- Mohs surgery
- Radiation therapy
- Chemical peels
- Excisional surgery
Dr. Walls takes a holistic approach to skin cancer treatments and takes time to listen to your concerns and answer your questions before embarking on a treatment plan.
How can I prevent skin cancer?
Preventing skin cancer from occurring or reoccurring is in your best interests. Seek shade whenever possible and don’t get sunburned.
Apply a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. If you’re outside for long periods of time, use an SPF 30 or higher and reapply often. Never use tanning beds and avoid lying in the sun.
Schedule a visit for a head-to-toe skin exam at least once a year. Click the button to request an appointment time or call the office today.