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Prompt Identification
& Treatment Are Crucial

Skin cancer of the head and neck encompasses various malignant growths that develop on the scalp, face, ears, and neck. These cancers typically arise from prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, leading to abnormal cell growth. Melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma are the most common types of skin cancer, each presenting unique symptoms. Regular self-examinations and professional screenings are essential for the timely detection and treatment of skin cancer of the head and neck.

Symptoms of Skin Cancer of the Head & Neck:

  • Changes in the size, shape, or color of moles or skin lesions
  • Development of new, abnormal-looking moles or growths
  • Sores that do not heal or continuously bleed
  • Irregular borders or asymmetry in skin spots
  • Persistent itching, tenderness, or pain in a particular area
  • Swelling or lumps under the skin
  • Changes in sensation, such as numbness or tingling
  • Any suspicious changes in the skin that persist or worsen over time

The Types of Skin Cancer Treatment

Melanoma Removal & Treatment

Melanoma originates in the melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells within the skin. It manifests as an irregularly shaped mole or new pigmented growth. If left untreated, melanoma can spread rapidly to other parts of the body.

When diagnosed early, melanoma treatment is highly successful. Dr. Sansoni may recommend surgical removal as the primary treatment for localized melanomas. This involves excising the melanoma along with a margin of healthy tissue to ensure complete removal. In cases where the melanoma has spread or is at high risk of spreading, additional treatments like immunotherapy, targeted therapy, or chemotherapy may be necessary to eradicate cancer cells and prevent recurrence.

Basal Cell Carcinoma Removal & Treatment

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) appears on sun-exposed areas like the head and neck. It typically presents as a waxy bump or a pearly, pinkish patch. BCC rarely spreads to other parts of the body, but it can disfigure the affected areas.

If diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, Dr. Sansoni will likely recommend surgical excision as the primary treatment. This involves removing the cancerous growth along with a margin of healthy tissue to ensure complete eradication. Mohs surgery, a precise technique that removes thin layers of tissue and examines them under a microscope, may be used for more extensive or challenging cases to minimize tissue removal while maximizing cancer removal.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Removal & Treatment

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is another prevalent form of skin cancer affecting the head and neck. It arises from prolonged exposure to UV radiation and manifests as a firm, red nodule or a flat sore with a scaly crust.

If diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma, Dr. Sansoni may excise the cancerous lesion along with a margin of healthy tissue to ensure complete eradication. If SCC has spread or is at high risk of recurrence, additional treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy may be necessary to eliminate cancer cells and prevent further progression. Your treatment plan will be based on the stage and characteristics of your SCC.

Skin Cancer of the Head & Neck FAQs

How can I protect myself from developing skin cancer on my head and neck?

You can reduce your risk of developing skin cancer on your head and neck by practicing sun safety measures. These include wearing protective clothing, such as wide-brimmed hats and long sleeves, applying broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF regularly, seeking shade during peak sun hours, and avoiding indoor tanning beds.

How often should I perform self-examinations for skin cancer on my head and neck?

It is recommended that you perform self-examinations for skin cancer on your head and neck at least once a month. During these examinations, inspect your scalp, face, ears, and neck for changes in moles, skin lesions, or other abnormalities. If you notice any concerning signs or symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Sansoni for further evaluation.

What should I expect during a professional skin cancer screening?

During a professional skin cancer screening, Dr. Sansoni will carefully examine your head and neck for any suspicious lesions or abnormalities. He may use a dermatoscope, a handheld device with magnification and light, to closely inspect any moles or skin spots. If Dr. Sansoni identifies any concerning areas, he may recommend further evaluation with a biopsy.

Your Consultation

Alaska Facial Plastic Surgery and ENT is the premier destination for comprehensive care in skin cancer of the head and neck. Led by Dr. Sansoni, the sole fellowship-trained head and neck surgeon in Alaska, our elite team of experts ensures every patient receives the highest level of attention. From diagnosis to treatment, we go the extra mile to help you beat cancer. If you have noticed any suspicious symptoms or been diagnosed with skin cancer of the head and neck, schedule your consultation without delay.

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