Skin cancer is being diagnosed at an alarming rate. Fairer skin types are certainly at a higher risk of being diagnosed, but every skin type is at risk, especially in the “Sunshine State”. Basal Cell Carcinoma (the most common skin cancer), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and Malignant Melanoma (MM) are the most common types of skin cancer diagnosed in the United States. SCC and MM can be life threatening with the potential to spread (metastases).
Skin exams and patient education are especially important for early diagnosis of skin cancers. We offer full skin exams to identify suspicious lesions. The ABCDE’s of moles and melanoma, recommendation of sunscreens and sun avoidance and being educated on self skin exams are part of our routine skin cancer exams. It is always recommended to ask for a gown for your full skin exam and ask questions about the ABCDE’s, sunscreens and to have all areas that concern the individual patient examined.
Frozen section margin control surgery is a multi step and thorough procedure. Dr. Houck removes a skin cancer and a senior dermatopathologist using our in office laboratory checks the edges of the specimen under the microscope to ensure the cancer has been totally removed. Our dermatopathologist uses the Mohs frozen section technique which provides a very high cure rate. Once the cancer has been removed and the margins clear, then Dr. Houck repairs the wound. Dr. Houck has many years of experience performing this technique and repairing various types of wounds. We also have relationships with plastic surgeons if needed to get you the most appropriate care you need.
Skin exams should be done at least annually for most people in Florida. If you have a history of skin cancer or extensive sun exposure, then every 3-6 month exams may be recommended.