Skin Cancer

Vanguard Dermatology

Dermatologists located throughout New York, NY

Skin cancer affects one in five Americans by the age of 70 years, but you can lower your risk by protecting your skin from sun exposure. The experienced team at Vanguard Dermatology offers comprehensive care, including skin cancer screening and the removal of moles and lesions. They also offer the most effective skin cancer treatment available, Mohs micrographic surgery. If you’re concerned about a skin lesion, book an appointment online or call one of their seven offices in New York City, Brooklyn, Forest Hills, and Staten Island, New York.

Skin Cancer Q & A

Am I at Risk for Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is primarily caused by exposure to sunlight, including artificial sources like tanning beds. Your risk of developing skin cancer is higher if you have numerous moles, fair skin, or a family history of skin cancer.

Two other key risk factors are your cumulative exposure to ultraviolet light throughout your lifetime and whether you have a history of occasional but intense sun exposure causing a sunburn.

What are the Different Types of Skin Cancer?

These are the three types of skin cancer:

  • Basal Cell Carcinoma: Basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer, often appears as a red patch, a flesh-colored bump, or an open sore. It seldom spreads into your body (metastasizes), but it can invade deep into the surrounding tissues.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. It typically develops from actinic keratoses, which are hard, crusty lesions that mutate from benign into cancerous. As they turn into cancer, they may change into a red bump or a patch of bleeding skin.
  • Melanoma: Melanoma is the least common skin cancer, but it’s the deadliest. Like other skin cancers, it’s curable when treated early. However, after it metastasizes, it’s hard to treat. Melanoma often develops from an existing mole, but it can also appear as a new mole-like lesion.


What is the Treatment for Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer may be removed using a variety of surgical methods, such as:

  • Excision: the tumor is cut or shaved from your skin
  • Electrodesiccation and curettage: the tumor is removed and then needles with an electrical current destroy cancer cells around the edges
  • Cryosurgery: the tumor is destroyed by freezing
  • Laser surgery: the tumor is eliminated with a laser

However, the gold standard treatment for skin cancer is Mohs micrographic surgery.

What is Mohs Micrographic Surgery?

At Vanguard Dermatology, Dr. Michael Shapiro performs Mohs micrographic surgery, which is the most effective skin cancer treatment available. The Mohs technique allows Dr. Shapiro to remove skin cancer layer by layer, examining each piece of tissue to see if all cancer cells are gone before removing more tissue.

The Mohs procedure spares the maximum amount of healthy tissue and has a 99% cure rate for cancers being treated for the first time.

If you see a worrisome skin lesion or would like to schedule a skin examination, call Vanguard Dermatology or book an appointment online.