The Cancer No One Wants to Talk About
- Posted on: Dec 15 2017
By now, most people can stomach the fact that skin cancer is the leading cancer in most countries around the world. This is not a distinction that we can appreciate. Hearing that a seemingly benign mole or spot on the skin is actually cancerous, regardless of type, is the most unpleasant surprise; and yet this happens with alarming regularity. As a leading provider of Mohs surgery in the UK, Dr. Hussain understands the fear that patients feel at the very idea of having skin cancer. At the same time, there is hope that stems from the awareness that early treatment can save lives.
We’ve Got to Face It
There are certain things in life that we’d all rather not face. A disease like melanoma is one of them. Naturally, there is an inclination within a lot of people to deny the seriousness of an abnormal growth. “That spot isn’t all that different.” “I’ve always had a lot of moles.” These are statements that may be made out of fear, and understandably. However, the sooner we perform diagnostic evaluation on a suspicious growth, the better.
Numbers Don’t Lie
In order to understand the fullest extent of cancers, a measurement system has been developed. We talk about cancer in terms of stages. Stages indicate how invasive a cancer has become. When we are looking at a melanoma skin cancer, what we want to see is localization. Stage 0 melanoma indicates the presence of malignant cells in a restricted area of the uppermost layer of skin cells. When cells have spread to deeper tissues in the dermis, we measure skin cancer as Stage I or II, with Stage II being more invasive. According to statistics, these three stages of melanoma (and other skin cancers) still have a high potential for cure. Mohs surgery has a success rate of more than 98% in such instances.
One of the reasons that patients give for seeking Mohs surgery in our UK practice is the low chance of surgical scarring. The top priority in patient care, however, is to stop malignant cells from spreading further into the body. Melanoma, in particular, tends to spread from its original tumor through the lymphatic fluid into the lymph nodes. Because lymphatic fluid travels throughout the organs of the body, it holds the key for malignant cells to metastasize to distant organs. Metastasis to organs translates to a significant drop in five-year survival rates, lower than 20%.
It’s much more pleasant to talk about our cosmetic skin concerns and how we can feel more attractive even as we age. But dermatologic health is also something we must be willing to support. Learn more about skin cancer screenings and Mohs micrographic surgery for skin cancer at 07580 411 350.
Posted in: Skin Cancer