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Skin Cancer

More new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed every year than the combined cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer. Skin cancer is commonly caused by excessive sun exposure. Some common early signs of skin cancer include:

  • Red splotches
  • Scale-like or flaking skin
  • Dark spots
  • Bumps or raised areas of skin

Cancer of the eyelids is very dangerous and needs to be treated urgently. If skin cancer forms around the edge of the eyelids, it often causes the eyelashes to fall out. The following are types of skin cancer known to affect the eyelids and skin:

  • Basal cell carcinoma – The most common type of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma can present itself as a white or red bump or nodule
  • Squamous cell carcinoma – The second most common type of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma often presents itself as an scaly lesion (squamous means “scale”)
  • Sebaceous cell carcinoma – The third most common form of eyelid cancer can be very aggressive with metastasis occurring early in the course of the disease. 
  • Melanoma – Least common but most deadly among all forms of skin and eyelid cancers, melanoma often presents itself as a growing, changing, irregularly colored splotch on the skin or the eye.

Skin cancer diagnosis

To diagnose skin cancer, the physician will take a biopsy of the suspected lesion in clinic for examination under the microscope by a trained pathologist. If the biopsy confirms the lesion to be cancerous, further treatment will be needed.

Skin cancer treatment

One of the most successful methods for skin cancer removal is Mohs’ surgery (also known as “micrographic” or “Mohs’ excision”).

Named after its developer (Frederic E. Mohs), Mohs’ surgery involves the removal of skin cancer, layer by layer. After each layer is removed, the section of skin is biopsied to identify the cancer’s location – enabling the physician to preserve as much healthy skin as possible in the next layer. This process is repeated until all of the skin cancer has been removed. This part of the surgery is performed by our dermatology colleagues.

On the same or subsequent day, our oculofacial plastic experts perform the reconstructive surgery to restore your normal appearance following the removal of skin cancer lesions from the face or the eyelids.

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