Skin Cancer Surgery

                     Frequently Asked Questions

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and it is on the rise in men, women, and teenagers alike. Skin cancer can be found on any part of the body but the majority of skin cancers are found on the face, head or neck. They can be disfiguring, as well as dangerous. Anyone can get skin cancer. During the office visit, Dr. Tobin will examine any suspicious growths, explain the procedure if one is required, and explain the possible risks and complications. We recommend bringing a list of any questions or concerns to your consultation.

There are 3 types of skin cancer:

Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common type and it is also the least dangerous and most easily treated.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma in the next most common type. This type of skin cancer can become life threatening if left untreated.

Malignant Melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer. However, reported cases of malignant melanoma are rapidly rising. This is the most dangerous type of skin cancer but, if it is treated early enough, it can be completely cured. If it is not treated quickly though malignant melanoma may spread throughout the body and is often deadly.

What do these types of skin cancer look like?

Basal and squamous cell carcinomas can vary widely in appearance. The cancer may begin as a small, white or pink nodule or bump; it can be smooth and shiny, waxy, or pitted on the surface. Or it might appear as a red spot that’s rough, dry, or scaly or it may be a firm, red lump that may form a crust, or a sore that bleeds or doesn’t heal after two to four weeks. Malignant melanoma is usually signaled by the change in the size, shape, or color of an existing mole, or as a new growth on normal skin.

What does “ABCD” mean?
It is what to watch for with malignant melanomas. ABCD stands for: Asymmetry (a growth with unmatched halves), Border irregularity (ragged or blurred edges), Color (mottled appearance, with shades of tan, brown, and black, sometimes mixed with red, white or blue), and Diameter (a growth of more than 6 millimeters or the size of a pencil eraser).

How is skin cancer treated?
Normally, a small incision is made over the growth, the growth is removed, and the skin is closed with sutures. The growth is then sent off to pathology to see if it is skin cancer and if it was removed entirely. This is done as an outpatient procedure either in the office or at the Auburn Surgery Center, depending on the nature of the growth. Dr. Tobin will discuss the specific treatment plan during your office visit.

What is the recovery period for removal of a skin cancer?
The recovery time varies for each patient. However, many patients return to work within a couple of days. Bruising and swelling typically diminishes within a week. Other individual restrictions and recovery expectations will be discussed during your office visit.

Will my insurance cover skin cancer removal?
Yes, insurance will cover this procedure.

General Information

Varies depending upon type and extent of surgery.

Varies depending upon type and extent of surgery.

Yes, insurance is accepted for this procedure.

Varies for each patient, but typically 1 week.

$100 (see conditions left)
300 S. Mt. Auburn Road | Cape Girardeau, MO 63701 | Tel: (573) 651 4488 | Fax: (573) 651 4431
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