Skin cancer is the most common and increasingly common type of cancer in our country and in the world. Anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of race, skin color, age and gender. Skin cancer can occur in any part of the body. Skin cancers are observed in 80% of the face, head or neck region. The vast majority of these cancers are treated by plastic surgeons. If the lesion is small, it can be treated quickly and returned to daily life by performing an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. In multiple events, results are achieved that can be achieved even with make-up without an obvious scar.
- What types of skin cancers can plastic surgeons remove?
Although most skin cancers can be surgically removed almost immediately, the treatment protocol is determined depending on the location, type and stage of the mass in your body. A definitive diagnosis is made by removing all small lesions and sending them for pathological examination. In large lesions, a section called biopsy is taken, and after pathological examination is performed, diagnosis is made and treatment is performed. Plastic surgeons can treat all types of cancer listed below:
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC): It is the most common and least dangerous. It progresses very slowly and rarely spreads.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC): It is the second most common cancer of the skin. It often occurs on the lips, face or ears. It can spread far.
Malignant melanoma: It is the rarest but most dangerous type of skin cancer. If left untreated, it spreads throughout the body and creates a life-threatening condition.
- Your plastic surgeon may also treat other skin lesions:
Moles: They can be flat or raised on the skin surface in dark clusters. While most of them are not dangerous, some of them, especially those with mottled color and unsystematic edges, may develop into malignant melanoma. In fact, moles are often taken for cosmetic purposes or to prevent irritation from clothing or friction.
Keratoses: They are hard brown or red skin modules on the skin surface in places exposed to the sun. Sometimes they can turn into squamous cell cancer type.
- What should I expect after the interview?
The first step for a patient suspected or diagnosed with cancer is an interview with your doctor. In this meeting, the doctor examines your skin and general health.
Basal and squamous cell cancers can have different forms and appearances. They can often occur as one of the following conditions:
• Small, white or pink nodule or ridge;
• Hard, dry or scaly red dots;
• Hard, red bumps and clusters of nodules or clusters;
• Bleeding wound that has not improved for 2-4 weeks, and a recurring wound that has healed;
• They can be observed in the form of scars on the skin surface as slightly sunken or raised.
- How is skin cancer taken?
First of all, a preliminary diagnosis of the existing lesion is made by clinical examination. Usually, one of the cancer types we call BCC or SCC is prediagnosed. Although the uptake of the cancerous cell varies according to the type, it varies according to the stage and the region where it is located. The plastic surgeon removes the growing part in the most aesthetic way possible. If this lesion is large enough to be removed in one go and it will not cause an aesthetic problem after removal, the process we call excisional biopsy is performed. Excisional biopsy, that is, surgical removal of the mass, can be performed under local anesthesia. The patient quickly returns to his daily life. The removed module is sent for pathological examination. As a result of the future pathology, the treatment is considered complete and further treatment is performed if necessary. In this case, a thin scar is often left in the form of a line.
If the suspected cancerous area is large or has spread to the lymph nodes, more complicated surgery may be required. In this case, to finalize the diagnosis, a small section is taken from the lesion, which we call incisional biopsy, and sent for pathological examination. If the diagnosis is cancer, all of the cancerous tissue should be removed. In this case, the cancerous tissue is removed extensively. Then, this area is closed by applying a skin patch, which we call grafting, or by shifting the tissue we call flap. With these techniques, the area where the cancer is removed is treated, and it is ensured that it regains an adequate appearance and function. Depending on my situation, further treatment may be required.
- How will care be applied on the day of the procedure?
Most skin cancer purchases are made under local anesthesia in the physician’s office. In advanced cases, the process can be performed under general anesthesia. Your doctor will inform you about the most accurate and reliable anesthesia option.
- How will I look and feel after the procedure?
After the treatment, the area may have some edema, ie swelling. Initially, the scar may be pink or red in color. This will disappear over time and may become unnoticed. If complex tissue transfer, such as a skin graft flap, is performed, the recovery period takes longer than easy excision. You should carefully follow your doctor’s post-treatment instructions for proper healing.