Some skin cancers are slow-growing and unlikely to spread, but melanomas can be aggressive and potentially life-threatening. If you have signs of skin cancer, the experienced team at the Houston Cancer Institute, PA, can help. The institute has three locations in Houston and another in Katy, Texas, where the team has state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment facilities. To learn about your options for skin cancer treatment, call the Houston Cancer Institute, PA, today or book an appointment online.
Skin cancer results from the rapid growth of cells in your skin that have developed a genetic mutation. The mutation and excessive cell growth are typically due to long-standing exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or tanning beds.
Certain factors increase your chances of getting skin cancer, such as:
There are also medical conditions that increase your sensitivity to UV light.
The effects of UV light exposure build up throughout your life, so the more time you spend in the sun over the years, the higher your risk.
There are several types of skin cancer. The one you’re most likely to get is basal cell carcinoma, which causes a crusty, raised bump on your skin. The bump may be pink, red, or white and could develop into an open, bleeding sore.
Squamous cell carcinoma is less common and usually develops when you have actinic keratosis. This skin condition causes dry, rough skin patches that could be brown, pink, tan, red, or skin-colored. Although not always cancerous, actinic keratosis patches may develop into cancer.
The most dangerous form of skin cancer is melanoma. Whereas basal and squamous cell carcinomas rarely spread beyond your skin, melanoma can metastasize (spread) throughout your body.
Melanomas typically originate in moles, although they can appear elsewhere. That is why it's vital to regularly check any moles you have so you can spot changes in their shape, size, or color.
To determine the best treatment for your skin cancer, the team at the Houston Cancer Institute, PA, stages your cancer using state-of-the-art PET/CT imaging. The scans show how large the tumor is, how deeply it extends into your skin, and whether it's spread to other areas.
Surgery to remove the cancerous tissue may be advisable, and treatments like photodynamic therapy and radiation therapy could be useful for some patients. The Houston Cancer Institute, PA, team specializes in using immunotherapy and chemotherapy to treat skin cancer. Targeted therapy may also be an option.
Chemotherapy uses potent drugs that kill cancer cells. Immunotherapy is a method of boosting your body's immune system to help you fight cancer. Your immune system recognizes cancer cells as a threat but often lacks the ability to destroy them. Immunotherapy gives your immune system the strength it needs.
Where needed, the team works with plastic and reconstructive surgeons to address any aesthetic issues resulting from your skin cancer.
To determine the best treatment for your cancer, the team at the Houston Cancer Institute, PA, stages your cancer using state-of-the-art Cat Scan or PET/CT imaging.
The scans show how large the tumor is, how deeply it extends , and whether it's spread to other areas. This will help our team at the Houston Cancer Institute, PA identify what stage of cancer you have and tailor your treatment plan to that stage for optimal outcomes and recovery.
If you have any odd-looking lesions or moles that are changing, call the Houston Cancer Institute, PA, today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.