Receiving a skin cancer diagnosis can be scary. Dr. Kenneth Neal of Washington Dermatology Consultants has extensive training in the diagnosing and treating of skin cancer, and he has authored professional literature on the subject. In our office, patients facing skin cancer are given the time they need to understand their diagnosis and treatment options. We are happy to answer all of the questions our patients have, allowing them to feel confident in their treatment plan and medical team. For referring physicians, Dr. Neal is more than happy to discuss your case with your doctor regarding any matters, questions or concerns related to your skin cancer to ensure that you receive excellent care.
With locations in Arlington and Stafford, we are easily accessible to patients in and around Washington DC, Virginia (Alexandria, Annandale, Dulles, Falls Church, Fairfax, Fredericksburg, Great Falls, Herndon, Mclean, Merrifield, Oakton, Reston, Springfield, Spotsylvania, Tyson’s Corner, Vienna, Warrenton, Winchester, Woodbridge) and Maryland (Bethesda, Bowie, Chevy Chase, Columbia, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Greenbelt, Germantown, Olney, Rockville, Silver Spring).
Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the two most common types of skin cancer, each of which may be treated with different surgical procedures. Options for surgery are typically offered based on the location, size, and type of skin cancer we are treating. Skin cancer surgery can be performed in our Arlington or Stafford office using local anesthetic to numb the area being treated. Dr. Neal has been trained in the various forms of skin cancer surgery, including Mohs surgery and advanced facial reconstruction.
Types of skin cancer surgery
The excision of a skin cancer lesion takes place in our office after the treatment area has been numbed with local anesthetic. Using specific instruments, our skilled dermatologic surgeon cuts the entire lesion from the skin, including a small amount of surrounding tissues in order to ensure all abnormal cells have been removed. Sutures are then placed. A small scar may form as the skin heals from this surgical procedure.The surgical excision of melanoma skin cancers includes the removal of a wider area of tissue.
Curettage and electrodessication
Some skin cancer lesions may be removed with a special instrument called a curette. The sharp loop at the end of the curette scrapes the skin, removing abnormal cells. This is followed by treatment with an electrode, which destroys remaining cancer cells. This type of treatment is suitable for thin basal carcinomas or squamous cell carcinomas affecting the top layer of the skin.
Dermatologists who perform mohs surgery have undergone specific training. Dr. Neal completed the Mohs Fellowship Program early in his career, and has completed numerous procedures using this specialized technique. One of the advantages of Mohs surgery for the treatment of skin cancers are this treatment boasts a successful clearance rate near 99 percent.
The Mohs technique involves the removal of a thin layer of skin on the suspicious lesion. The outer edges of the removed skin are immediately analyzed under a microscope. If cancer cells are identified in this sample, another layer of skin is removed and analyzed in the same manner. This process continues until skin samples no longer contain cancer cells. The process may be somewhat slow, but is quite conservative and successful.
Our dermatologist has solutions for skin cancer. Contact Washington Dermatology Consultants for more information.