Did you know that at least one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70? Skin cancer is the most common malignancy in the United States, with over 9,500 people diagnosed with this condition each day. In fact, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. Unfortunately, the wide-spread prevalence of skin cancer is responsible for more than two deaths every hour, in the United States alone.

Likely, when detected in the beginning stages, skin cancer boasts a survival rate of 99%. Yearly skin cancer screenings are, therefore, essential, as these comprehensive evaluations identify tumors early and prevent their progression to something that can become life-threatening.

Dr. Hooman Khorasani is both a dermatologist and a fellowship-trained skin cancer & cosmetic surgeon. This dual expertise heavily impacts the characteristics of his skin cancer screenings, as he is highly attuned to the visible or palpable features of early tumors and he is exceptionally meticulous in examining all areas of the body. Patients can rest assured that a surveillance visit with Dr. Khorasani will detect even the smallest of cancers or provide you with a reliable diagnosis of healthy skin. Furthermore, patients are reassured that the biopsy will be done with the highest regards for final aesthetic outcome. This is particularly important when biopsying a lesion on the face, where one has to obtain a sample which is deep enough for histologic evaluation, but not too deep that the patient is left with a permanent indentation.

To schedule a comprehensive skin cancer screening for yourself or a loved one, visit Dr. Hooman Khorasani at our New York City practice. To request a consultation, message us securely, or contact Dr. Khorasani’s Manhattan office by phone at 347-574-8500.

What is skin cancer?

Your skin is composed of millions of cells. Sun exposure, age, genetics, stress and other factors can cause some of these cells to mutate and behave abnormally. These transformed cells multiply rapidly and form cancerous tumors in the skin. The specific type of cell involved in this abnormal growth pattern determines if the cancer is a basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or melanoma. Basal cell carcinomas typically appear as pearly flesh-colored moles or pimples that do not resolve with time. Squamous cell carcinomas are similarly persistent, but are often rough, scaly patches that are red or brown in color. Finally, melanomas often result from previously existing moles that have undergone a change in shape, color, size, or texture.

It is important to note that not all basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, or melanomas will necessarily have these features. As such, it is critical to inform Dr. Khorasani of any suspicious skin blemishes so that they can be thoroughly evaluated for malignancy.

Who is at risk for skin cancer?

Skin cancer does not discriminate based on age, gender, or race. Patients young or old, male or female, or light or dark complexion can develop tumors of the skin. Consequently, every individual aged 25 to 75 should undergo annual skin cancer screenings to detect malignancies as early as possible. Initiating these life-saving body exams earlier is recommended for patients with significant skin cancer risk factors.

Tanning bed use, a history of a blistering sunburn, organ transplants, and radiation exposure are amongst the greatest risk factors for the development of skin cancer. Childhood non-blistering sunburns and chronic sun exposure also significantly increase the likelihood of tumor formation. Patients with red hair, light-colored eyes, a large number of moles, or a family or personal history of skin cancer are also at a higher risk for malignancy.

What does a skin cancer screening entail?

Skin cancer can occur everywhere on the body, even in locations that are not exposed to the sun. Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, is not uncommonly found in the eye, belly button, vagina, or anus. Consequently, it is critical to comprehensively examine the full body to ensure these dangerous tumors do not escape detection.

Prior to your exam, you will be given privacy to remove your street clothes and dress in a medical gown. It is important to uncover the entire surface of your skin and avoid wearing any type of jewelry including piercings. After you have changed, Dr. Khorasani and a highly-skilled medical assistant will enter the room to begin the skin cancer screening. The office chair will be completely flattened so you are lying on your stomach or back, depending on which side is currently being examined. Using a combination of visual expectation, magnified imaging, and palpation, the skin will be meticulously evaluated to assess if any blemishes are concerning for skin cancer. You may also notice Dr. Khorasani wiping your skin with an alcohol swab. The purpose of this is to remove dried skin or any other residues on the skin surface in order to uncover hidden malignancies.

If a suspicious spot is identified during the skin cancer screening, how is it managed?

If there is a concern that a blemish may be cancerous, Dr. Khorasani will obtain a small biopsy so that the cells can be examined microscopically. This brief process requires less than five minutes to perform and is usually done on the same visit as your screening exam. The biopsy itself involves numbing the lesion with an injectable medication and then removing a tiny sample with a surgical blade. This excised tissue is then sent to a special laboratory for examination by a dermatopathologist. Processing and evaluating the biopsy may take up to two weeks after the procedure. We understand this waiting period may be stressful. Our office staff is available at any time to answer any questions or concerns you may have. You are not alone!

As soon as the results of your biopsy are available, Dr. Khorasani or his staff will inform you of the results. Precancerous, cancerous, or other concerning lesions will be scheduled for appropriate follow-up with Dr. Khorasani as soon as your personal timetable permits.

How is skin cancer treated?

Treatment of your skin cancer depends on its type, stage (as determined by Dr. Khorasani and the dermatopathologist), location, and your overall health. It is very important to understand that your initial biopsy did not remove the skin cancer, even if you can no longer physically see the original blemish. The biopsy is only a sample of the “tip of the iceberg,” as these tumors usually have deeper roots which will require further treatment. All cancerous biopsy results require immediate follow-up with Dr. Khorasani to determine the best treatment for your particular malignancy.

Patients with precancerous lesions or basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas confined to the skin’s surface layer may be candidates for treatment with our PreciseFX laser. This cutting-edge therapy capitalizes on Dr. Khorasani’s extensive skin cancer knowledge and technical mastery of laser energy to rapidly eradicate surface-level tumors with minimal scarring. Visit our Skin Cancer Laser Treatment page to see if PreciseFX laser may provide you with the best medical and cosmetic results for your superficial skin cancer.

Melanoma, the most dangerous of skin cancers, must be treated aggressively with surgery and occasionally with adjuvant chemotherapy, and/or radiation. Non-superficial basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas also require surgical treatment, of which Mohs micrographic surgery is traditionally the gold standard. Please visit our Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Reconstruction for Skin Cancer page to learn more about this highly specialized oncologic treatment.

FAQ's About Skin Cancer Surveillance

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Dr. Khorasani and his highly-specialized team look forward to working with you to transform your medical or aesthetic goals into reality. To expedite a request for a consultation, message us securely, or contact Dr. Khorasani’s Manhattan office by phone at 347-574-8500. For more information about how to get in touch:

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