Irvine residents benefit from many treatments, including non-surgical options, for skin cancer

Our neck of Southern California gets more sun on average than any other part of the country, with the exception of Vegas and Phoenix. Being out in the sun can be an immediate mood-lifter. Sunlight has been linked to higher levels of that “feel-good” chemical serotonin. It’s for this reason that you hear about light therapy boxes designed to resolve Seasonal Affective Disorder during gloomier winter months.

Sunlight has other physical benefits. It is associated with boosting the body’s supply of Vitamin D. Unlike other vitamins, “D” doesn’t need to be obtained from food. It can be synthesized through the skin. This “sunshine vitamin” has been linked to improvements in bone strength and health and, conversely, deficiencies have been blamed for everything from rickets and cognitive impairment to cardiovascular disease, pediatric asthma, and some cancers.

Yet the sun does have a dark side. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage the skin from the inside out. Discoloration can appear as broken blood vessels and brown or age spots. As elastin fibers break down your skin can sag. As unsightly as these spots and other changes can be, unprotected sun exposure is also to blame for far scarier conditions such as basal and squamous cell and melanoma skin cancers. The only safe tan is found in a bottle, because UV light from tanning beds can also cause cancer.

Any change to the shape, symmetry, color or size of a spot or mole may mean it’s time to see Dr. Arta Farshidi. Other red flags include itching or bleeding. It’s important to regularly perform self-examinations and schedule professional skin checks. A small sample of suspicious-looking tissue may be removed and examined. If this biopsy determines that you have cancer, treatment will depend on both the type of cancer and the stage of the disease.

Generally, skin cancers may be:

  • Frozen off (“cryosurgery”)
  • Cut out
  • Killed with topical chemo drugs
  • Removed with lasers following the application of a medication that makes cancer cells sensitive to light energy

In addition to other non-surgical techniques, Dr. Farshidi may refer cancers to her trusted Mohs Micrographic Surgery partner. MMS involves the layer-by-layer removal of cancers until no more abnormal cells may be seen under the microscope.

Don’t put off skin cancer assessments another day. Call (949) 531-7111 to schedule an appointment and to find out more about treatments for skin cancer available to people facing this diagnosis in the Irvine area.

 

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