According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, skin cancer is now the most prevalent type of cancer in the United States. Primarily caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun, skin cancer can appear anywhere on the body but most often develops on the head, face, or neck. The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, a slow-growing cancer that can begin as a pearly, white growth; squamous cell carcinoma, which often begins as a red, scaly, or crusty patch and can spread to other parts of the body; and malignant melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer that frequently appears asymmetrical with mottled colors or ragged edges and spreads throughout the body if not caught quickly. Certain moles, especially large ones or those with mottled colors, also have the potential to become cancerous and need to be watched carefully for any change in appearance.
While skin cancer surgery to remove tumors and cancerous lesions is critical to saving lives, it can sometimes leave patients with unfortunate scarring or disfigurement. This is particularly true in cases where extensive surgery has been performed in highly visible places, such as the face and head. Sometimes, surgery to treat skin cancer can result in permanent changes to prominent facial features like the nose, ears, or lips.
Skin cancer reconstruction is an important means of restoring both function and esthetic appearance to those who have undergone skin cancer surgery. Plastic surgeons are able to utilize a variety of techniques, such as scar revision, skin grafts, and more complicated transfers of tissue flaps from other parts of the body, to reconstruct skin and facial features. In most cases, both function and appearance can be significantly improved.
If you have developed an unusual growth on your skin, especially if it grows or changes size rapidly, it is important to consult a doctor as soon as possible. Plastic surgeons are often consulted to remove skin growths while also maintaining function and a pleasing appearance. This can be especially important if the tumor is located on the face or another highly visible part of the body. If you would like to learn more about skin tumor treatment, please contact us today.