Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and one in five people will develop the disease by the time they’re 70. While these numbers may sound scary, most cases of skin cancer are easily treatable. Some, however, are very serious, including melanoma, and warrant aggressive intervention. If you’ve been diagnosed with skin cancer, the team at Charleston Oncology helps you figure out your best treatment options.
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Skin Cancer Q & A
What are the different types of skin cancer?
Sun exposure causes most skin cancers that fall under one of the following categories: basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
Between these two cancers, removal is almost always the best option. That said, any cancer has the potential to spread if left untreated, so if you have any questions at all about your skin cancer and how to treat it, you should speak with one of the doctors at Charleston Oncology.
Melanoma is another form of skin cancer, and it’s more dangerous than BCC and SCC because it’s more likely to spread. While melanoma responds well to early intervention, with 99% five-year survival rates, invasive types of the disease can be severe and if they metastasize, these rates drop considerably.
There are also other types of skin cancers, which are relatively rare, accounting altogether for less than 1% of skin cancer diagnoses. They include:
- Merkel cell carcinoma
- Kaposi sarcoma
- Cutaneous lymphoma
- Skin adnexal tumors in your hair follicles or the glands in your skin
These rarer cancers require specialized treatment, which the team at Charleston Oncology provides.
How is skin cancer diagnosed?
More often than not, your regular doctor or dermatologist is your first line of defense when it comes to skin cancer. These doctors can remove the precancerous or cancerous lesions, freeing you from danger.
If, however, your skin cancer appears to be more aggressive, or it has spread, it’s time to see a specialist at Charleston Oncology. The team of doctors understands the characteristics of cancer and has the diagnostic tools in place to get to the bottom of your skin cancer, clearly identifying it so you can get started on a treatment protocol.
How is skin cancer treated?
The answer to this largely depends upon the type of skin cancer you have. Rest assured that the oncologists and hematologists at Charleston Oncology are involved in the latest advances in treating cancer. Through infusion therapies, radiation, immunotherapies, targeted drug therapies, and even clinical trials, they have an arsenal of tools that they can bring to bear against your skin cancer.
For more information on treating skin cancer, call Charleston Oncology to schedule a consultation.
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From diagnosis to treatment and follow-ups, Charleston Oncology, as a part of the Department of Bon Secours St. Francis’ leading multidisciplinary cancer care team, plays a vital role in guiding patients through their breast cancer journey.
I am currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer at Roper St. Francis Hospital and would like to acknowledge two physicians who truly embody your mission of “healing with compassion, faith and excellence”.
Please join Charleston Oncology and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in support of National Survivor Month, celebrating those who have fought the disease and those currently in treatment.
June is National Cancer Survivor Month and throughout the month we are honoring our brave patients and sharing their inspirational stories.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops when melanocytes (the cells that give the skin its tan or brown color) start to grow out of control. Watch the video to learn more about melanoma from Charleston Oncology’s Dr. Charles S. Holladay.
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. This month, Charleston Oncology recognizes the importance of spreading awareness surrounding the disease.