You may chose to initially seek the advice of your primary care physician or seek a specialist for your initial evaluation. If you chose to visit us at Osborne Head and Neck Institute, you will be seen and evaluated by either Dr. Zandifar or Dr. Nach. They can then make the determination of the appropriate treatment options. You may opt to be seen and evaluated by your dermatologist and have the lesion removed by them. Should you choose to have your tumor removed at another facility you can still choose to have your reconstruction performed by our trained Facial Plastic Surgeons.
As with most medical conditions, a family history of skin cancer may increase your likelihood of developing skin cancer. Certain genetic diseases may also increase your risk. It is critical to have a thorough history and physical examination performed at your physician's office to best determine your risk.
Your skin type is determined by the degree of pigmentation in your skin and your tendency to tan or burn. Your skin type will affect your risk level for the development of skin cancer. The skin type classification system is called the Fitzpatrick classification and is determined by the following:
Fitzpatrick 1: White with red or blond hair. Never tans, Always burns. Fitzpatrick 2: White with red or blond hair. Rarely tans, Usually burns. Fitzpatrick 3: Creamy white with any hair color. Sometimes tans, Sometimes burns. Fitzpatrick 4: Brown with dark hair. Usually tans, Rarely burns. Fitzpatrick 5: Dark brown with dark hair. Easily tans, Very rarely burns. Fitzpatrick 6: Black with dark hair. Always tans, Never burns.
With respect to the skin, two types of aging are to be considered.
The chronological age refers to the actual age in years. As we age the skin begins to lose its elasticity and recoil. This results in increased laxity and wrinkling. Furthermore, recent research shows that the skin also loses its ability to repair the DNA damage it continues to sustain as the result of sun exposure.
Photoaging, on the other hand, refers to the age of the skin based on the amount of sun damage that it has incurred. Not only can sun damage speed up the effects of aging by destroying the collagen and elastin of the skin, it can also cause damage to DNA that can lead to skin cancers. Special cameras and equipment can detect photodamage to the skin and effectively assist in treatment options even before any type of cancer has developed.