Skin Cancer Removal in Reading
Your options for skin cancer removal at Berks Plastic Surgery
If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer or are concerned about suspicious lesions or moles, you may be wondering, “what are my skin cancer treatment options?” Here at Berks Plastic Surgery, our dermatology Nurse Practitioner, A.J. Himmelsbach, works closely with patients to evaluate, diagnose, and remove cancerous lesions.
Get the facts
How much do you really know about skin cancer? The Skin Cancer Foundation provides statistics, and some of them may be surprising:
- Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer, with over 5 million cases in the US every year.
- Every year there are more new skin cancer cases than the combined numbers for breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer.
- Nearly 50% of Americans aged 65+ will develop basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma at least once.
- A vast majority of both non-melanoma skin cancers and melanomas are caused by exposure to UV radiation from the sun.
What to expect when you visit Berks Plastic Surgery for skin cancer treatment
A.J. Himmelsbach, MS, MSN, CRNP, has over 15 years of experience diagnosing and treating skin cancer. Every appointment begins with a full-body exam to screen for skin cancer, including melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and pre-cancerous lesions.
Testing & removing skin cancer
If a lesion is suspicious, Mr. Himmelsbach will perform a shave biopsy. This procedure involves removing the skin abnormality and a thin layer of the surrounding tissue with a very small blade. The tissue sample is then sent for dermatopathology review, where it will be viewed under a microscope and examined for cancerous cells.
If something is found, an excision (or removal of the lesion) is recommended. At Berks Plastic Surgery, you have the option to have your skin cancer removed by Mr. A.J. Himmelsbach or by our board certified plastic surgeons, Dr. Brian Reedy and Dr. Scott Lindsay. In cases where a larger lesion needs to be removed or more invasive measures taken, many patients benefit from having a plastic surgeon perform the procedure.
This process happens in our office; there is no need for obtaining another referral or visiting multiple offices to coordinate removal or, if necessary, reconstruction. After removal, the area will continue to be monitored to ensure no further instances occur.
Dysplastic nevus syndrome
Mr. Himmelsbach also specializes in treating dysplastic nevus syndrome, known as “atypical mole syndrome.” Patients who have over 100 moles total on their bodies or at least 11 moles on either arm have an increased risk of skin cancer and melanoma, so he will recommend ongoing evaluation and, perhaps, biopsy and removal of the lesions.
Treatment of pre-cancerous lesions
The most common pre-cancerous lesions are actinic keratosis (AK), which have the potential to develop into skin cancer. AK typically appear as a crusty or scaly growth that may be elevated, rough-feeling, and similar in appearance to warts. It is normal for multiple to appear.
Because AK are at risk of turning into skin cancer when left untreated, liquid nitrogen treatment for removal is often recommended.
Removal of benign lesions
Even in cases where a mole is not suspected skin cancer or in danger of becoming malignant, we recommend ongoing observation through periodical exams. Patients can also elect to proactively remove the lesion for health or aesthetic reasons.
Surgical excision of benign lesions is similar to skin cancer removal, though less tissue may be removed. In most cases, scarring is minimal and reconstruction isn’t necessary.
Learn more at a private consultation & evaluation
If you have any suspicious moles or want to make sure your skin is safe and healthy, contact us today to schedule your full-body exam.