Almost one million people annually in the United States receive a diagnosis of skin cancer and approximately 20 percent will receive such a diagnosis over the course of their lives. Sun exposure is one of the most common causes of facial skin cancer. Located in Carmel and Greenwood, Hamilton Facial Plastic Surgery, led by double board-certified facial plastic surgeon Mark M. Hamilton, MD, FACS, specializes in skin cancer reconstruction for men and women who live in and around Indianapolis, IN.
Most skin cancer treatments involve surgically excising cancerous lesions and also involve post-operative reconstruction. The goal of Dr. Hamilton and his staff is to help patients not only become cancer-free, but to provide the best restorative or reconstructive surgery options following treatment for skin cancer. Because such treatment is medically necessary, it is normally covered by insurance providers.
Skin Cancer Types
Basal Cell Cancer
The most common type of skin cancer is basal cell cancer. The good news is that it also has an exceptionally high cure rate approaching 99 percent when treated early. The parts of the body most commonly affected by this type of cancer are the ears, nose and lips. Areas such as these require more delicate procedures to be performed by a highly-skilled facial plastic surgeon. Dr. Hamilton is such a surgeon, having performed many thousands of skin cancer removals and reconstructions.
Basal cell skin cancer normally first makes its appearance as a tumor that has large blood vessels present and is raised from the skin surface.
Squamous Cell Cancer
The second most common form of skin cancer is squamous cell cancer. Like basal cell cancer, it also has a very high cure rate when found and treated early. The symptoms of squamous cell cancer vary, but are typically observed as a raised tumor that bleeds when touched.
Malignant melanoma normally is observed as a black or dark brown patch with irregular borders. Moles should be checked for melanoma when they change size, shape or color. Melanoma must be treated early and aggressively to prevent it from spreading.
Skin Cancer Causes
Skin cancer usually develops due to prolonged exposure to the sun without proper protection. UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds can cause premature skin damage, leading to cancer.
UV rays have the ability to deeply penetrate the skin and cause premature aging, wrinkling, sagging and the appearance of leathery skin.
Other UV radiation types also have the ability to deeply penetrate the skin and cause damage. All UV ray forms can cause skin cancer and premature skin aging.
The use of proper skin care protection can keep UV rays from causing long-term skin damage and prevent skin cancer and premature skin aging. Skin lotions and creams are the most effective types of skin protection for those spending prolonged periods of time outdoors during hours when UV rays are at their peak.
What Is A Skin Cancer Reconstructive Procedure?
The main goal of reconstructive procedures is to restore function to a particular part of the body. An example is someone who undergoes severe facial trauma due to a car wreck. A reconstructive procedure can help rebuild facial structures or repair any anatomical or physiological problems due to trauma.
Dr. Hamilton is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon who performs reconstructive procedures with knowledge, experience and skill. He can effectively restore lost function by carefully considering your face and skin’s aesthetic appearance.
Treatment for Facial Skin Cancer
The Mohs surgical method will sometimes be used by dermatologists to remove skin cancer tumors. Dr. Hamilton can work closely with your dermatologist to repair any defects left on your skin following this type of procedure. Every procedure is designed to suit the unique needs of each individual patient so that the best possible cosmetic outcome is achieved.
In other cases, a dermatologist may suggest that the skin cancer can be best treated by Dr. Hamilton. In such a case, the tumor can be taken out with frozen margin pathology. The advantage of this procedure is that Dr. Hamilton can then repair the site immediately following excision. Such procedures can take place in-office or as outpatient surgery.
Dr. Hamilton can also treat the most dangerous form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma using the very latest available techniques. Not only do melanoma patients require tumor excision, but many can be helped using sentinel lymph node mapping and excision.
If you live in the Indianapolis area and have received a skin cancer diagnosis by your primary care physician or dermatologist, Dr. Hamilton stands ready to help you. Please contact us at our Carmel or Greenwood office right away to go over your case and help provide answers to your questions regarding both treatment and recovery.