There are many different types of skin cancers but the three best known are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. There is a separate page dedicated to melanoma.
Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are the two most common types of skin cancer. Here in Florida with our sun filled lives we are at increased risk of developing these tumors. Both basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas of the skin have a low chance of spreading beyond their original site. They have a tendency to sit and grow in one location. If left alone, they may grow very large having been known to engulf an entire nose, ear or eye.
Since basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas tends to occur in sun exposed areas, they frequently occur on the face. Removal of these lesions can create an aesthetic challenge in trying to re-create a normal appearance to the face after removal of what is sometimes relatively large areas. That is when a plastic surgeon gets involved.
We take care of many skin cancers at the Frost Plastic Surgery and the Medical Center Clinic. We are proud to have a multi-disciplinary approach that may involve Dermatology, ENT, Ophthalmology, Radiation Oncology and Plastic Surgery to provide the best approach for your specific need.
For example, some tumors may be difficult to see with the naked eye. These growths are sometimes excised with what is called Mohs technique. This is a procedure that is performed in the dermatology department with careful examination of all of the margins of the area removed. After Mohs surgery the patient is often referred for assistance in closure of the larger defects, particularly those involving ears, noses and eyelids.
Although there are pictures below of typical skin cancers, we do not recommend you try to diagnose your own tumors as they can be highly variable in appearance. Evaluation by a qualified physician, often involving a biopsy, is the only way to make an accurate diagnosis.