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Skin Cancer FAQs

Ranked as the most common type of cancer in the United States, skin cancer — when detected and treated early – can be cured. Dr. Alysa Herman specializes in Mohs surgery, the most effective treatment for most types of skin cancer, at her Miami, Florida practice. One of the elite few surgeons certified by the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS), Dr. Herman has the skills and experience needed to provide you with an optimal outcome from skin cancer.

Request a consultation online today, or call (305) 444-4979 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Herman.

Meet Dr. Alysa Herman

If you've been diagnosed with skin cancer, you need a physician who is exceptionally qualified, experienced and compassionate. Dr. Herman is renowned among physicians and patients for her credentials and her dedication to patient care.

Request a consultation

If you've been diagnosed with skin cancer, you need a physician who is exceptionally qualified, experienced and compassionate. Dr. Herman is renowned among physicians and patients for her credentials and her dedication to patient care.

Request Your Consultation

Skin Cancer Questions and Answers

To provide more information for her current and prospective patients, Dr. Herman has developed the following responses to frequently asked questions about skin cancer at her Miami, FL practice.

What is basal cell cancer and what does it look like?

What is squamous cell cancer and what does it look like?

What is melanoma and what does it look like?

What is actinic keratosis and what does it look like?

Can I get skin cancer anywhere on my body?

What can I do to protect myself from skin cancer?

Will my cancer come back (recur)?

Will I develop more skin cancers?

What is basal cell cancer and what does it look like?

Accounting for about 80% of all diagnosed skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma is the most common type. According to the American College of Mohs Surgery and American Academy of Dermatology, basal cell carcinoma generally appears on sun-exposed areas and may look like a blemish that won't heal, a shiny, pearly bump that does not go away, or a rough, reddened patch. It may bleed if minor trauma occurs to that area.

What is squamous cell cancer and what does it look like?

The second most common type, squamous cell cancer tends to be more aggressive than basal cell carcinoma. It may occur on areas of your body exposed to the sun as well as unexposed areas such as the genitals and mucous membranes. Squamous cell carcinoma usually looks like a red, crusted bump or rough, scaly patch, and the American College of Mohs Surgery notes that it sometimes is mistaken for a patch of dry skin or a wart.

What is melanoma and what does it look like?

Although it accounts for approximately 3% of skin cancer cases, melanoma is the most dangerous type; in fact, more than 75% of skin cancer-related deaths result from melanoma. Frequently developing in an existing mole or appearing to be a new mole, melanomas typically are brown to black lesions that, according to the American College of Mohs Surgery, have uneven borders, colors or surfaces. It can appear anywhere on the body, such as the legs. However, when they appear on sun-damaged skin such as the face, melanomas may look like a brown patch or unevenly colored freckle.

What is actinic keratosis and what does it look like?

The most common type of pre-cancer, actinic (solar) keratosis is caused by chronic exposure to the sun. It typically resembles a scaly patch of dry skin that is either pink or flesh-colored. Actinic keratoses appear on sun-exposed areas such as the arms, chest, legs, head and neck. If not treated early, they can result in squamous cell carcinoma. Learn more about treatments for skin cancer.

Can I get skin cancer anywhere on my body?

Skin cancer typically occurs on sun-exposed areas of the body, such as the face, neck, chest, and arms. However, skin cancer can appear in other areas, such as the genitals.

What can I do to protect myself from skin cancer?

Although you cannot reverse any damage to your skin that has already occurred from sun exposure, you can follow key precautions to reduce your risk of future damage. For details on guidelines for sunscreen strengths and application, read Dr. Herman's recommendations for skin cancer prevention.

Will my cancer come back (recur)?

No treatment method can guarantee a cure rate of 100% – but Mohs surgery has a cure rate of up to 99% for new skin cancers. For skin cancers that were treated in the past and recurred, the cure rate is 95%.

When you visit Dr. Herman for your skin cancer treatment at her Miami practice, she uses her Mohs surgery education and extensive experience and skills to design a procedure focused on completely removing your skin cancer while preserving the healthy surrounding skin. According to the American College of Mohs Surgery, Mohs surgery, when performed by an experienced specialist like Dr. Herman, provides the highest possible cure rate for most skin cancers.

Will I develop more skin cancers?

After you develop a skin cancer, the American Academy of Dermatology and American College of Mohs Surgery report that you do have an increased risk of developing more skin cancers. Consequently, it is critical to visit your dermatologist regularly. Be sure to schedule an appointment if you notice any changes in your skin.

In addition, it is important to follow the American Academy of Dermatology's recommendations for skin cancer prevention.

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