Finding the Best Skin Cancer Doctor in Washington, DC
If you are looking for a skin cancer doctor near me in Washington, DC you are surely at a time in your life with more stress and worry than usual, but you need to know that some of the best skin cancer dermatologists in the country practice in and around Washington, DC, so your skin cancer treatment can commence quickly and with great skin cancer doctors there to help you.
The key to finding the best skin cancer treatment for you is finding a doctor that will see you as a whole patient, not just your skin cancer diagnosis. You have the right to advocate for the type of skin cancer treatment you want and should choose your course of treatment with your doctor, not just because it’s what a dermatologist told you to do. Medical care should always be a collaborative process, and the best skin cancer doctors in DC will make it just that.
How Serious Is Basal Cell Carcinoma?
Left untreated, basal cell carcinoma skin cancer can become a serious, life threatening disease that can and will kill you. But basal cell cancer spreads very slowly and is very curable when caught, diagnosed, and treated early on. Basal cells are the cells responsible for making new skin cells as old ones die out. They are very common skin cells that are usually unremarkable, but once they turn cancerous, they can become serious if left untreated. The causes of basal cell skin cancer can be traced almost entirely to damage caused by the sun. When ultraviolet light hits skin unprotected by clothing or sunblock, the very DNA of the cells is damaged after prolonged exposure, and with enough repeated UV damage, the cells can become basal cell carcinomas that can eventually spread on the skin and down into the tissue of bones, muscles, and organs.
Is Squamous Cell Carcinoma Life Threatening?
Squamous cell carcinoma skin cancer can be quite serious. It spreads faster and more aggressively than basal cell skin cancer and can metastasize into a life threatening situation if not treated promptly by a good skin cancer doctor. The good news is that when diagnosed early and treated, the survival rate for squamous cell carcinoma is close to 100%. With all skin cancer, as with all cancer generally and indeed with all illnesses, the key is rapid action once the affliction is discovered, and you greatly increase your chances for a cure if you are vigilant in regular checkups. A Washington DC dermatologist can perform a skin cancer screening that, if conducted annually or even semi-annually, will catch changes on your skin that may indicate signs of skin cancer.
The symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma to watch for include raised pink or reddish bumps, unexplained sores or lesions, irregular and changing moles, and flaky patches of yellow skin. These and other irregularities on the skin mean it’s time to head to the doctor for a skin cancer screening.
Noninvasive Skin Cancer Treatment Options
There are a number of different skin cancer treatments, but most people with non-melanoma skin cancer are interested in one category of treatment: noninvasive skin cancer treatment. With the best care, skin cancer can usually be treated without leaving prominent scarring, which is a good thing as non-melanoma skin cancer like basal cell and squamous cell cancers usually occur on highly visible parts of the body like skin cancer on the nose, ears, neck, or the backs of the hands. This is due to sun exposure. But what is the best noninvasive skin cancer treatment? In Washington, DC most doctors will advocate for either Mohs surgery, a minimally invasive skin cancer treatment involving surgical excision followed by immediate testing, or Superficial Radio Therapy, a treatment that is so noninvasive it does not even require local anesthetic.
Why Superficial Radio Therapy Is Better Than Mohs Surgery for Some Patients
Many dermatologists consider Mohs surgery to be the “Gold Standard” of skin cancer treatment, and given its approximate 98% cure rate, it is indeed one of the best skin cancer treatment options out there. But Superficial Radio Therapy, or SRT, such as can be performed with an FDA cleared Sensus Healthcare SRT-100 device, also achieves a cure rate that high, and with no surgical cutting involved. SRT involves the use of low doses of radiation focused directly on the carcinoma. The X-rays penetrate the skin to a maximum depth of five millimeters, so nearby healthy tissue is not damaged and there are no lasting side effects caused by the treatment and minimal resulting scarring.