More than 3.3 million Americans are treated for nonmelanoma skin cancer every year, making it more prevalent than all other cancers combined. Most skin cancers are highly treatable and curable, and catching it early increases your chances of coming out the other side unscathed. This is why you need a good dermatologist as part of your healthcare team. At City Dermatology Skin Institute in Bensalem, PA, Dr. Imran Amir helps his patients in the greater Philadelphia area spot the early signs of cancer and delivers prompt, sometimes life-saving, treatment.
To learn more about skin cancer screening, call or book an appointment online today.
City Dermatology Skin Institute
Imran Amir, MD
Cosmetic Surgeon & Dermatologist
When to Schedule a Consultation for Skin Cancer
Patients who have noticed a suspicious skin lesion like a mole, sore, or bump should schedule a consultation for a skin cancer checkup. Lesions that experience changes in size or color are especially concerning. The sooner you schedule your consultation in Bensalem, the greater the chance of effective treatment.
Dr. Amir will personally handle your consultation. It will start with a discussion of the body areas you are concerned about. He will examine the affected skin areas and look over your medical history. A biopsy may be performed.
He will recommend a suitable treatment based on his findings. With your approval, he will create a personalized treatment plan that can effectively address your skin cancer. He will discuss the steps of the plan with you and answer any questions you may ask. He will also provide you with instructions to prepare for your skin cancer treatment.
How to Prepare for Mohs Surgery
The specific preparation instructions given by Dr. Amir will depend on the details of each case. However, you can expect to be instructed to take several of the following steps:
- Stop taking certain medications – During your consultation, Dr. Amir will ask if you are currently taking any medications or herbal supplements. He may ask you to stop some if not all of these medications to prepare you for the surgery. He may also prescribe substitute medications in order to not significantly impact your health.
- Set aside enough time for your surgery – Most Mohs surgeries will not take more than four hours. However, it is still recommended to free your schedule for the entire day to accommodate changes in the duration of your surgery and allow your condition to stabilize after surgery.
- Wear comfortable clothing – Wear clothes that will make you comfortable on the day of your surgery. This will make the surgical process much easier. Make sure to dress in layers so you can adjust your clothes if you find the room too warm or cold.
- Plan on how to pass the time – You may need to wait before your surgery, so it is important to prepare accordingly. We recommend bringing a mobile device, book, or magazine.
- Eat before your surgery – Mohs surgeries can last for several hours. Since Mohs surgery requires only local anesthesia, eat before your surgery so you will not get hungry throughout the surgical process.
What to Expect During Mohs Surgery
An anesthetic will be administered to prepare the patient for surgery. Mohs surgery will involve removing layers of tissue, each of which will be analyzed in the laboratory. The procedure will stop when the last layer removed is cancer-free. This method has a very high cure rate and is the most effective option for preserving non-cancerous tissue.
Skin Cancer Q&A
What are the types of skin cancer?
Skin cancer is a catchall term for a number of different cancers that affect cells in your skin. The three main types of skin cancer are:
Basal cell carcinoma
This is by far the most common type of skin cancer, about 8 in 10 cases, which is good news since it’s also the least dangerous. This cancer usually develops on your head and neck.
Squamous cell carcinoma
This cancer usually develops in the sun-exposed areas of your body, such as your head, neck, and hands. It may grow deeper in the layers of your skin and the cancer has a slim chance of spreading to other parts of your body.
This is the most dangerous of the three main types of skin cancer and involves your melanocyte cells, which produce pigment. Melanoma can spread to other parts of your body, making it potentially fatal. If Dr. Amir catches it early enough, however, he can successfully treat the cancer.
What are the signs of skin cancer?
The most common signs of skin cancer are:
- Actinic keratosis (AK), which are small scaly patches on your sun-exposed skin
- Small bumps or nodules that are white or pink
- Sores that don’t heal
- Smooth, waxy patches of skin
Skin cancer manifests itself in a variety of ways and one of the best ways to stay on top of it is to know your skin and recognize when something new has developed on the surface. If you spot something irregular, make an appointment with Dr. Amir to get checked out.
The other critical tool in your cancer arsenal is an annual screening with Dr. Amir. It’s understandable that you can’t keep track of every square inch of your skin, so let Dr. Amir scan your skin with an eye trained to spot the early signs of skin cancer.
Am i at risk of developing skin cancer?
Skin cancer can affect anyone. However, there are certain factors that can increase the risk of developing skin cancer, such as:
- A history of sunburn – Patients who have a history of sunburn in multiple instances during childhood have a higher chance of developing skin cancer.
- Easily getting sunburned – Those who easily get sunburned, especially adults, are at risk of skin cancer.
- Exposure to certain chemicals – People who are frequently exposed to chemicals like arsenic, coal, industrial tar, and paraffin are more likely to develop non-melanoma skin cancers.
- Extensive exposure to sunlight or UV rays – Staying under the sun for long periods of time is the most common cause of skin cancer.
- Fair skin – People with fairer skin have a higher chance to develop skin cancer compared to those with darker skin.
- Family history of skin cancer – If one of your direct family members like your parents or siblings has skin cancer, you are likely to have this condition as well.
- Frequent use of tanning beds – Tanning beds use UV radiation to develop a tan on your skin. Tanned skin is an injury response to overexposure to UV radiation.
- Light-colored eyes and blond or red hair – People with these characteristics are more prone to skin cancer.
- Moles – Moles, especially abnormal moles, are more likely to develop into skin cancer.
- Living in sunny or high-altitude areas – People living in warmer high altitudes are more exposed to UV rays compared to those living in colder low altitudes.
WHAT ARE SOME STRATEGIES TO PREVENT SKIN CANCER?
Although there is no way to completely prevent any chance of developing skin cancer, there are several strategies that can greatly lower the risk of this health issue. You can observe the following effective practices of skin cancer prevention:
- Wear sunblock everyday – Sun exposure is a major contributor to skin cancer. By wearing sunblock on a regular basis, you can minimize the risk of getting skin cancer. The ideal sunblock has an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Reapply sunblock when necessary – Activities like swimming and exercising can get rid of sunblock quicker. While doing these activities, it is important to reapply sunscreen every two hours.
- Stay away from the sun during peak hours – During peak hours when the sun shines the brightest, the risk of skin cancer is at its highest. By staying away from the sun between 10 am to 4 pm, you are less likely to get skin cancer.
- Use the right sunblock – Even though sunblock is the primary protection against skin cancer, the effect will depend on its ingredients. Experts recommend the use of sunblock containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Sunblock products containing these two ingredients are very effective in blocking the sun’s rays.
- Minimize tanning or using tanning beds – Tanning exposes your skin to sunlight, thus increasing the risk of skin cancer. This is also true for tanning beds, since these are designed to release ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is a common cause of skin cancer.
- Come in for annual skin examinations – Getting an annual skin examination will help detect early signs of skin cancer. This makes it easier to treat the condition and prevent it from getting worse and spreading.
How is skin cancer treated?
Dr. Amir treats most skin cancers by removing the cancerous area. He is fully trained and certified to perform Mohs surgery, a specialized procedure that removes cancer while leaving only minimal scarring in its wake. Depending upon your case, Dr. Amir can often perform Mohs surgery at his office in Bensalem, PA with a local anesthetic. When it comes to skin cancer, peace of mind and early intervention are crucial. Call City Dermatology Skin Institute in Bensalem, or book an appointment online.
Your Skin Cancer treatment will be performed in Dr. Amir‘s surgery center located in Bensalem.
Obsessed with this place. Everyone is so nice and accommodating. Dr Amir is amazing! His attention to detail is incredible. I’ve had fillers done in the past but this is the first time I had anyone “map at my face” so to speak in order to place the injections in the proper area. Couldn’t be happier with the results and I’m looking forward to going back for Botox in and few weeks! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Excellent experience here! Staff is very nice and personable, Dr. Amir has a wonderful bedside manner. He takes the time to educate you in your concerns and walk you through the process. I was able to have a few of my concerns addressed right away at my first visit! I will definitely continue to see Dr. Amir, and refer my friends!
Dr. Amir is by far the best dermatologist you could ask for! The care and attention to detail given by this practitioner is simply superb. I would recommend this practice to absolutely anyone looking for the best. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Thank you Dr. Amir!
I have been going to City Dermatology for many many years. It is the most professional and well staffed dermatology office I have been too. The doctor (Dr. Imran Amir) and his physician’s assistant (Cassie) are kind and caring, as well as, the entire staff. You can have complete confidence in all of your skin care needs at this office.
I have been coming to Dr. Amir for years now. He has wonder bed side manner and is a great doctor. He helps me with any issues I have. I would definitely recommend him.