Skin cancer is the most frequently diagnosed malignant tumor in France. The three most common types of skin cancer seen in dermatology offices are:
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common, but fortunately, the least problematic.
Basal cell carcinomas rarely, if ever, metastasize. In contrast, squamous cell carcinoma is more concerning because it has the ability to metastasize to other organs in the body if left untreated.
Finally, melanoma is the most concerning of the three malignancies because it often gives little indication that it exists before metastasis.
The vast majority of skin cancers are attributable to excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation in the form of sun and tanning beds. All of these cancers have an excellent prognosis if detected early enough. The treatment usually involves removing the skin cancer under local anesthesia or on an outpatient basis.
Dr. Gianfermi uses two advanced techniques to detect skin cancer in its early stages.
One of these methods is called dermatoscopy. Dr. Gianfermi uses a special non polarized light source and a magnifying lens to observe features of lesions that are not visible to the naked eye.
Dr. Gianfermi also has the ability to use computer-assisted mole mapping. With this computer-assisted whole-body photography system, the physician is able to make comparisons of lesions at varying time intervals. The computer provides assistance by evaluating each lesion and highlighting new lesions or those that have undergone significant changes over time.
In order to be safe from the threat of skin cancers, the College of Physicians and Surgeons recommends that patients have a complete skin examination at least once a year.
Early diagnosis is the most vital aspect of surviving any type of cancer. Dermatology patients have the luxury and blessing of being cared for by an experienced and qualified dermatologist using the latest diagnostic technologies and techniques.
Early detection of skin cancers offers better chances of cure, especially in the case of cutaneous melanomas.
In France, there is no organized screening program for skin cancers. Their early detection therefore relies either on your doctor’s initiative, or on yours if you have spotted a potentially suspicious lesion (wound that does not heal, pimple or scab that persists or evolves, brown “spot”), or a mole “different from the others”.
On average, 100,000 skin cancers are diagnosed each year.