About Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the United States, with more than five million cases diagnosed each year. Skin cancer most often develops on skin exposed to the sun, but skin cancer can also develop on areas not ordinarily exposed to sunlight. There are several types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, Merkel cell skin cancer, lymphoma of the skin, Kaposi sarcoma and melanoma. Basal and squamous cell carcinomas are the two most common types of skin cancer.
Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers detected among cancer treatment patients in Florida. Researchers have estimated that around 85% of all skin cancers are acquired through too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, tanning beds, or sunlamps.
Symptoms of Skin Cancer
A noticeable change in your skin is the most common sign of skin cancer. This could be a new growth, a sore that doesn’t heal, or a change in a mole. Not all skin cancers look the same. You should closely observe any new growths or changes in moles on your skin and talk to your doctor if you notice changes such as a new growth, a sore that doesn’t heal, or a change in an old growth.
For melanoma specifically, a simple way to remember the warning signs is to remember the A-B-C-D-Es of melanoma:
A. Asymmetrical: Does the mole or spot have an irregular shape with two parts that look very different?
B. Border: Is the border irregular or jagged?
C. Color: Is the color uneven?
D. Diameter: Is the mole or spot larger than the size of a pea?
E. Evolving: Has the mole or spot changed during the past few weeks or months?
Radiation Treatment for Skin Cancer in Tampa
Surgery is a common treatment for basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. Most often the surgery can be done in a doctor’s office or hospital clinic using a local anesthetic. For skin cancers with a high risk of spreading, surgery sometimes will be followed by other treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy.
When radiation therapy is used to treat skin cancers, the radiation is focused from outside the body onto the skin using a superficial beam of radiation which doesn’t go any deeper than the skin. Radiation therapy can often cure small basal or squamous cell skin cancers and can delay the growth of more advanced cancers. Treatments are usually scheduled Monday through Friday for several weeks to accurately deliver radiation to the cancer. The procedure is painless, and each treatment lasts only a few minutes.
Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology offers their skin cancer patients state-of-the-art skin cancer treatment options such as Leipzig and Valencia Applicators with High Dose (HDR) Radiation. This highly successful skin cancer treatment is the least invasive skin cancer treatment option for available to our Tampa patients with small, superficial cancers, primarily basal cell, and squamous cell carcinomas skin cancers.
Contact Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology today for more information about skin cancer, our skin cancer specialists and skin cancer treatment options. Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology has multiple Florida facilities located in the Tampa Bay area in Tampa and Brandon.