The skin is the largest organ in our body. Serving as a protective layer from the outside world the skin is exposed to several harmful environmental elements. Ultraviolet light and non-ionizing radiation, in addition to genetic predisposition can lead to damage of the DNA of skin cells. This unfortunately can lead to the formation of skin cancer, a treatable but common malignancy. Dr Jacob Bloom, in Chicago and Burr Ridge, IL has treated thousands of skin cancers and is a trusted referral source of Chicago’s leading dermatologists.
Types of Skin Cancer
There are 3 main types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and malignant melanoma. While this is not an inclusive list it does make up the majority of skin cancers commonly encountered in clinical practice. However, there are many varieties and subtypes of these cancers. Each malignancy is named after the cell layer that they generate from in the skin. Thankfully most basal cell and squamous cell cancers are seen as local disease processes. While they frequently require surgical removal these rarely spread to other areas and excision is usually curative. More advanced forms of these malignancies can be locally aggressive and invade surrounding structures. Depending on the size, location and subtype of the skin cancer will determine how it should be treated. Malignant melanoma is a skin cancer that can spread or metastasize to other body systems. When caught in the early stages of the disease process they can be treated with excision alone similar to BCC and SCC. However, as these skin cancers develop deeper into the skin layers lymph node testing and other adjuvant therapies may be required to cure patients of the disease
How do I know if I have Skin Cancer?
It is recommended that patients undergo an annual physical with a dermatologist to screen for problematic lesions. Dr. Bloom works closely with many of Chicago’s leading dermatologists throughout the Chicagoland area and will be happy to furnish a referral to patients seeking a dermatologist. There are also self-examinations that patients should complete regularly to identify potential problem areas. Any lesion that follows the ABC’s should be evaluated clinically. Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, Evolving.
How is skin cancer treated?
Dr Bloom works both in the removal and reconstruction of skin cancer lesions. Based on the location of the skin cancer it can be removed via direct excision or Mohs surgery. Your dermatologist will help guide you through these options. In short, Mohs surgery is used in locations in which skin sparing operations are required. Typically, this occurs in the head and neck area. The Mohs dermatologic surgeon will remove skin cancers layer by layer like peeling and onion and check these layers under the microscope ensuring a full removal at the time of the procedure. When Mohs surgery is not deemed medically necessary, direct excision and closure can be done by Dr. Bloom in the office setting under local anesthesia. This is typically reserved for malignancies in the body such as the extremities, back, chest or abdomen. A margin of tissue will be removed to decrease the risk of local recurrence and all tissue removed is sent to pathology to confirm adequate resection. Dr. Bloom uses multilayer closure techniques with both absorbable and removable sutures to ensure the best possible aesthetic outcome. In general sutures will be in place for 7-14 days depending on the location of the skin cancer. Restrictions after the procedure include keeping the area dry for 48 hours and no exercise during that period. Most excisions only require over the counter pain medication for a few days and it’s encouraged to avoid aspirin and other NSAIDs such as Advil or Aleve. In addition, Dr. Bloom and his staff will provide specific aftercare instructions at each stage of your recovery to help guide you. While the diagnosis may be scary, the experienced team at Bloom Plastic Surgery will make sure that your treatment is anything but!
Why Choose Dr. Bloom?
Why select Chicago-native Dr. Jacob Bloom as your cosmetic surgeon? Because you shouldn’t trust something as important as your appearance to just anyone! When you choose Dr. Bloom, you are choosing a warm and caring surgeon whom you can trust to make your health, your comfort, and your beauty his number one priority!
Lead plastic surgeon at Bloom Plastic Surgery in Chicago, IL, Dr. Jacob Bloom is Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. His extensive knowledge of today’s advanced surgical techniques, coupled with his years of medical training in New York and Harvard University, allow him to create customized treatment plans that can match the unique goals of each and every patient, while delivering long-lasting results that will subtly—yet still dramatically—enhance your natural beauty.
If you are interested in learning more about skin cancer treatment with Dr. Bloom, we encourage you to contact our office to schedule your consultation today. We look forward to hearing from you!