Dermatology/Re: Skin melanoma

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Question
Good Evening Dr. Fisher
My name is Lila Ann & i am emailing u regarding my 83 year old mother who's had 2 suspicious lesions 1 on the side of her temple & the other lesion on the tip of her nose she has seen her dermatologist a year ago & had these 2 lesions removed by taking some layers of skin removed however the lesion on her nose returned as a black spot and again had it removed. The doc had sent it to have it biopsied & today my mother got a call from her dermatologist with the results. According to the doc she told my mom that it showed skin cancer however she didn't say if it was basal cell, squamous cell, or melanoma. but said that the lesion on the side of her temple was ok after she removed some layers of skin, however the lesion on her nose needs more layers of skin removed i am deathly afraid of this being melanoma. My sister & i will need to schedule another appointment for her to have more layers removed next week. Is this somewhat of a major concerned? Although she dosen't sound to alarm and said that my mom will be okay.
Any info will be greatly appreciated. Thank u so much for your time & hope to hear from u soon.

Much Regards,
Lila Ann


Answer
You need to find out what type of skin cancer is present. The most common skin cancer is a basal cell carcinoma. If the lesion is a basal cell carcinoma or a squamous cell carcinoma then the best treatment is MOHs surgery where the doctor looks at the removed tissue to make sure it is totally gone. Once the lesion is removed it will never come back. If a melanoma the best treatment depends on the breslow's level which is how deep the melanoma goes down into the skin. If superficial a MOHS surgeon but if deep a surgical oncologist is needed. You should not worry until you find out what type of skin cancer is present.

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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>

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