Frequently Asked Questions
Most frequent questions and answers
What are the main types of skin cancer?
There are three main types of skin cancer.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. It is not fatal, however if not treated it can cause serious damage to the body. Basal Cell Carcinomas double in size every year.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma can be very dangerous and potentially fatal if not treated.
- Melanoma is the least common of these types of cancers, however melanoma is the most life threatening form of skin cancer. Melanoma can spread rapidly throughout the body if not detected early enough.
How often should I see a dermatologist?
At the Kentucky Skin Cancer Center, we recommend skin examinations at least once a year. If you have a suspicious spot or an area of the skin that will not heal, you should see your dermatologist immediately.
Is there a safe way to tan?
Spray Tanning is the safest way to tan! Tanning in a UV tanning bed or with direct sun exposure results in a higher risk for developing skin cancer.
Is skin cancer easily treatable?
Many skin cancers can be easily treated when detected early. Problems occur when people wait to have a spot checked by their doctor and the cancer grows and spreads to other areas of the body.
How do I know if I have a spot that needs to be checked?
If you have a spot, mole or patch of skin that bleeds for no reason, is constantly irritated, looks unusual, or has changed in appearance (i.e. size, shape and/or color) it needs to be examined by a dermatologist as soon as possible. Performing regular self-exams is one way to help catch skin cancer in it’s early stages.
Remember the ABCDE rule of melanoma:
A for Asymmetry
B for Border irregularity
C for Color that is not uniform
D for Diameter greater than 6mm (about the size of a pencil eraser)
E for Evolving size, shape, and color
What is Mohs surgery?
Mohs surgery is a highly specialized and precise treatment for skin cancer in which the cancer is removed one tissue layer at a time. Mohs surgery is an outpatient procedure and is performed in the office under local anesthesia by fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon, Dr. Robert Skaggs. Mohs surgery is distinguished by a specific technique of tissue examination that is unique to the specialty and which gives the best chances of skin cancer recovery. Mohs surgery has a 99% cure rate for primary skin cancers and 94% cure rate for recurrent skin cancers.
What is a Mohs Surgeon?
It’s important to choose a fellowship-trained Mohs Surgeon who is a member of the American College of Mohs Surgery. Mohs College surgeons have undergone at least 1 year of fellowship training in skin cancer treatment and reconstruction beyond dermatology residency. As a Mohs College surgeon, Dr. Robert Skaggs completed his fellowship training with world-renowned Mohs surgeon, Dr. Brett Coldiron in Cincinnati, OH.
What can I do to prevent skin cancer?
Thankfully, skin cancer is easily preventable. Applying sunscreen regularly and wearing protective clothing are the easiest ways to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. At the Kentucky Skin Cancer Center, we understand that avoiding the sun isn’t always possible, and that’s why we recommend scheduling yearly skin cancer screenings with a board-certified dermatologist.
Is Mohs surgery the most cost-effective treatment option?
Mohs surgery is the gold standard skin cancer treatment and is the most cost-effective treatment option for skin cancer. Mohs surgery has the highest success rate with most patients requiring only a single surgery. This surgery often includes repair of the wound as well. Other methods of treatment can require multiple surgeries, going to a hospital operating room or ambulatory surgery center, and pathology readings to completely remove the cancer and repair the wound resulting in a multitude of separate fees. In comparison, a single Mohs surgery includes all of the procedures into one fee.