Greater Houston Radiation Oncology
Radiation Oncologists located in North Houston, South Houston & Huntsville, TX
Every year in the United States, more people receive a skin cancer diagnosis than all other cancer types combined. At Greater Houston Radiation Oncology, with two offices in Houston, Texas, and an office in Huntsville, Texas, Kirk Kanady, MD, and Maria Sosa, MD, offer in-office diagnostic testing and custom treatment services to preserve the health of your skin. Whether you need a diagnostic evaluation for a suspicious mole or aggressive treatment for melanoma, the oncology team can help. Contact the Greater Houston Radiation Oncology office nearest you by phone or book an appointment online today.
Skin Cancer Q & A
What is skin cancer?
Skin cancer is the result of an abnormal growth of skin cells that typically develop on skin that receives frequent sun exposure. The three primary types of skin cancer include:
Basal cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma begins in the basal cell of your skin, which produces new skin cells as the old ones die. This type of cancer often appears as a bump on the surface of your face, head, and neck and is generally the result of exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is a form of skin cancer that develops on the middle and outer layers of your skin. This type of skin cancer can be aggressive and spread to other parts of your body. Your risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma increases if you spend a lot of time in the sun or use a tanning bed.
Melanoma is a serious type of skin cancer that develops in the cells that produce melanin, a substance that gives your skin its color. There’s no clear understanding of what causes melanoma, but UV exposure can increase your risk for this type of cancer.
What are the symptoms of skin cancer?
The symptoms of skin cancer depend on the type of cancer you have. If you have a basal cell carcinoma, you may develop a waxy bump on your skin or a flesh-colored or brown lesion that may bleed and scab over.
Squamous cell carcinoma may also appear as a scaly lesion or red bump.
If you have melanoma, you may develop a painful, burning lesion or a brown spot on your skin’s surface. Some with melanoma notice changes in the color, size, or texture of an existing mole.
It’s important to schedule an evaluation at Greater Houston Radiation Oncology if you notice any changes in your skin or existing moles.
How is skin cancer treated?
Treating skin cancer may involve a minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove the cancerous tissue and a portion of your healthy skin to prevent the spread of disease.
If you have basal or squamous cell skin cancer, you may need Mohs surgery, a procedure that removes parts of your skin layer by layer until no cancerous cells show up under a microscope.
The team at Greater Houston Radiation Oncology offers advanced radiation therapies for treating some types of skin cancer. These therapies include:
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
- RapidArc – Volumetric Arc Therapy
- Image Guidance Radiation Therapy (IGRT)
- Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)
- Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS)
- Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (3D CRT)
- Four-Dimensional Conformal Radiation Therapy (4D CRT)
In some cases, you may need chemotherapy, a treatment that uses medications to destroy cancerous cells.
If you notice changes in your skin or moles, schedule a skin cancer evaluation at Greater Houston Radiation Oncology. Call the office nearest you or schedule an appointment online today.
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