Due to our elevation and high UV index, Colorado ranks as one of the top states in the nation for skin cancer. Several times a week, the Colorado Laser Clinic is called upon to diagnosis and treat skin cancers. Dr. Motazedi has more than 30 years experience in treating these potentially dangerous lesions.
Several types of lesions can be caused from sun exposure. Actinic Keratoses, or AKs, are pre-cancerous patches that are characterized by scaly red patches. These patches can progress into potentially dangerous skin cancers. Many people live with these lesions and ignore them for too long, leaving them untreated. Many squamous cell carcinomas start out as AKs. Squamous cell cancer is the second most common type of skin cancer, and if left untreated has the potential to spread to other sites in the body.
The most common cancer of the skin is Basal Cell Carcinoma. This type of cancer is also thought to be caused from exposure to sunlight. This type of cancer does not usually metastasize or travel in the bloodstream; rather it infiltrates and destroys the surrounding tissue it first starts in. Basal cell is most often found on the face, scalp, ears, chest, back and legs. It usually appears as a dome-shaped bump that has a pearly white color. Blood vessels may be seen on the surface. It can also appear as a pimple-like growth that keeps coming back. Basal Cell cancers can also be smooth white or yellowish and waxy. If you have a sore that bleeds, heals up only to recur again, you need to have it evaluated for basal cell cancer.
Melanoma, if given time to grow is the most deadly form of skin cancer. It is a condition that occurs in the pigment producing cells of our skin. Like weeds growing in a garden, melanoma cells will disrupt and overtake normal tissues thereby halting their normal function. This type of cancer must be caught early in order to cure it. It can be fatal if left untreated and allowed to spread. Melanomas can occur anywhere on the body, even under the nails, and are most commonly found on the back and legs. They appear usually as brown or black in color, but sometimes may be red, skin-colored or even white. It can appear to arise from an existing mole. Any mole that is growing, changing shape or color, or is irregular should arouse suspicion.
The ABCDEs of Melanoma:
Asymmetry; one half unlike the other half
Border; irregular or poorly defined
Color; varies from one area to another; shades of tan, brown, black; sometimes white, red or blue
Diameter; anything larger than a pencil eraser
The Colorado Laser Clinic offers patients many options for treating skin cancer. Please contact our office today at 719-596-4000 to schedule a consult with Dr. Motazedi. The office charge for mole or suspicious lesion diagnosis is $105. Full body evaluations are available and start at $350. If you do have a lesion or mole that looks suspicious Dr. Motazedi will discuss the charges for biopsy, lab evaluation and removal with you at the time of your consult.
Pre-cancerous Actinic Keratosis removed
by Robert T. Motazedi MD using a CO2 full ablative laser
Cancerous lesion removed by Robert T. Motazedi MD
Basal Cell Cancerous lesion removed by Robert T. Motazedi MD