Saratoga Dermatology and Medical Spa
54 Seward Street
Saratoga Springs, New York 12866
tel: (518) 581-2860
fax: (518) 581-7358
Monday–Thursday: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
Protection & Early Detection
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer, with 1 in 5 Americans developing some type of skin cancer in their lifetime. Fortunately, most types of the disease respond extremely well to treatment and are rarely life-threatening. Protecting your skin from the sun and scheduling regular skin exams—especially if you’re at a greater risk of developing skin cancer—are essential steps to take.
Sun exposure is the primary cause of most skin cancer. Here are some things you can do to protect your skin:
- Wear a sunblock with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 every day
- Reapply sunblock if you’re swimming or exercising outside
- Stay in the shade during peak hours (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
- Avoid tanning salons
If you cannot avoid being in the sun for long periods of time, always wear a hat and long-sleeved shirts.
Regular skin checks at our practice, along with monthly self-exams, can help catch skin cancer early. These routine exams are especially important for people with fair skin, a family history of skin cancer, or who have previously had skin cancer, because they are considered at a higher risk to develop the disease in the future.
Jennifer Smith, M.D.
Dr. Smith is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in the prevention, early detection, and treatment of skin cancer. She is a fellow of the American Society for Mohs Surgery and has performed thousands of Mohs procedures. She's also an accomplished cosmetic and medical dermatology provider and is known for creating excellent results with injectable fillers.
Types of Skin Cancer
The 2 most common forms of skin cancer, by far, are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Basal cell lesions rarely spread beyond the original site and can be easily treated in their early stages. Squamous cell cancers generally appear as scaly red patches that persist and can bleed when bumped or scraped.
Melanoma is the most lethal form of skin cancer but is also the rarest. Only about 5% of all skin cancers diagnosed are melanoma. Like other forms of skin cancer, early detection and treatment is the key to curing a case of melanoma. Melanoma can spread to other parts of the body and become very difficult to treat.
Dr. Smith is a member of the American Society for Mohs Surgery and has performed thousands of these advanced, meticulous procedures. As a Mohs specialist, Dr. Smith offers patients a technique that’s been clinically shown to provide cure rates of nearly 99% for newly diagnosed cancers and 95% for recurrent cancers.
What Is Mohs Surgery?
The Mohs procedure is a precise surgical technique that removes extremely thin layers of tissue from the treatment area. Dr. Smith then examines the tissue using a microscope to map the specific location of cancerous cells. The Mohs procedure provides an alternative to excising tumors for areas such as the eyelids, nose, ears, and genitalia, where it’s important to consider the cosmetic results of surgery.
Mohs surgery preserves as much healthy tissue as possible, avoiding large scars or other outcomes that could make a patient self-conscious about his or her appearance. Because the procedure involves methodically removing tissue and then carefully examining it, it can take several hours to complete. Patients should bring a book or mobile device to browse while Dr. Smith examines the tissue.
The number of stages needed to completely remove all cancer cells varies from patient to patient, but rarely are all the diseased cells removed in a single stage.
Dr. Smith thoroughly explains your treatment options during the consultation. If you’re interested in scheduling a skin exam, or believe you may have a cancerous growth, request a consultation with Dr. Smith using the online form. You can also call our office at (518) 581-2860 to schedule an appointment.
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