Skin Cancer Treatment: Preserving Your Health and Appearance
- 24 February 2016
Plastic surgeons have the privilege of working with cancer patients. While many of these cancer survivors are victims of breast cancer, plastic surgery can help in the restoration of other cancers as well. Skin cancer patients are one group surgeons see often.
Some plastic surgeries help to recover the patient's previous appearance, while others actually remove the cancerous growth on the skin. For the latter, plastic surgeons often work in conjunction with on oncologist and dermatologist to form a multi-disciplinary team.
Concerns about Skin Cancer Treatment
As cancerous skin growths are surgically extracted, a main patient concern is scarring. It is next to impossible to have surgery without any trace of scarring. However, plastic surgeons have the ability to minimize scarring by using special techniques. To the best of their ability, they will create a flat, smooth texture regardless of where the cancer is removed. However, the outcome of any incision and stitching depends on many factors including your skin type, your health status, among other things.
Has the cancer been removed completely?
After the procedures, you may find yourself questioning the results of surgery, asking, “Did all the cancer get removed?” This is a tough question to address immediately, but with the collaboration of many medical professional, you can better assure yourself that you are getting the attention you need. Not only will your plastic surgeon be following your care, but you dermatologist and oncologists will stay involved in your care throughout the whole process. Our goal is to preserve your health while maintaining your appearance.
Treatment must be the top priority
First and foremost, treating your cancer is our main concern. With that said, removal of cancerous lesions can, and likely will, leave you with significant wounds. These wounds can be wide and deep. As you approach this type of plastic surgery, keep the surgical priority in mind. Your expectations can greatly impact how you feel afterwards. After we are certain that the cancer has been entirely extracted, the reconstructive process can begin. But, not until then.
Knowing that skin cancer is usually more than skin deep, understand that more tissue may need to be removed to protect your health.
Treating skin cancer is done with the collaboration of your other medical professionals. Following the instructions of your doctors is imperative to the success of the surgery and full recovery from skin cancer. Take good care of the surgical sites after the procedure. Reduce the amount of force and stress put on the surgical area during recovery.
Monitor the area, with your doctors, for signs of infection like fever, intense redness, heat, and swelling, or an increased white blood cell count on your blood work. It is likely that all the skin cancer will be removed with one plastic surgery. But, it is not guaranteed. Patients often must undergo additional treatments like radiation or immunotherapy to prevent recurrence.. Follow the lead of your oncologist when making these decisions.
Facing cancer can be a long, difficult journey. Working with the right medical team, you can have the best possible outcome. Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to determine a treatment plan that is right for you.