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Cynthia Golomb, MD | Dermatology Boutique

Skin Cancer

20% Off Sun Protective Clothing

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BloqUV is a North Miami company that offers sun protective clothing and is giving my patients a 20% discount. I am impressed with the softness of the fabric and how it wicks away moisture. I love the variety of fashionable styles in lots of vibrant colors.

I am not affiliated with the company, nor do I receive any compensation. I do believe sun protective clothing is an important part of protecting yourself from the damaging rays of the sun. In addition to sunscreen, wear protective UPF clothing, a hat and seek out shade, especially from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Go to bloquv.com and enter this code: DERMBOUTIQUE20 to save 20% on your purchase. You may use this code three times. Shipping is free on orders over $100.

A Melanoma Grew Large During Quarantine

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Back in January, I posted to social media this photo of my patient who developed a big melanoma during quarantine.  After hunkering down for months, she finally went to get her hair done and her hairdresser alerted her to the growth.  She came to see me immediately in December and the biopsy I did showed melanoma. She is now being treated by an oncology surgeon.

The melanoma was removed, but since her surgery, additional cancerous sites on her scalp have been found and removed.  She has also started immunotherapy to treat the cancer.  Patients with advanced melanoma have a better prognosis today because of immunotherapy.

Melanoma is a very serious cancer.  Don’t delay your annual or bi-annual skin check! It’s better if we catch skin cancer before it grows this big. I take precautions in the office for COVID-19 to keep you safe during your exam.

When you’re checking yourself for new moles or growths, the one place on your body that is difficult to check is your scalp. Unfortunately, melanomas on the scalp are more deadly than on other locations of the body. This could be due to a number of factors including the anatomy or biology of the scalp and the fact that the melanoma can go undiscovered by the patient because it is hidden by hair.

A thorough skin exam by a board certified dermatologist is so important to locate hard-to-find skin cancers. In addition, on an ongoing basis, you can ask your hair care professional to let you know if he or she sees anything unusual on your scalp during your haircuts.

Melanoma is the most deadly skin cancer because of how quickly it spreads in your body.

Symptoms and the appearance of a cancerous lesion can vary widely and sometimes they are not obvious. It could be painful or sensitive to the touch, but not necessarily. It might bleed. And it could be just about any color or a combination of colors: brown, black, white, red and even blue. It could be raised or flat. Look carefully because these spots can be very small.

A recurring theme I’ve seen in my career is even when a primary care physician refers a patient to a dermatologist due to a scalp lesion or any other suspicious spot, the patient delays a few months in making the appointment, and by that time the skin cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

My patient granted Dermatology Boutique permission to post her photo on my social media and patient communications. I am grateful that she allowed me to share her photo to help educate my other patients and social media followers.

 

Mohs Provides Higher Cure Rate for Skin Cancer

· Skin Cancer · Comments Off on Mohs Provides Higher Cure Rate for Skin Cancer

Immediately after Mohs surgery.

I performed Mohs surgery and then did a skin graft on this patient.  She had basal cell cancer on her ear.

Mohs surgery is a precise technique to remove skin cancers layer by layer resulting in a higher cure rate than standard excision or radiation therapy.

For example, basal cell carcinomas have a 97 to 99% cure rate.

Mohs also allows me to limit the size of removal and conserve normal skin to minimize scarring.  After removal, I treat the wound in a manner to promote good healing and preserve cosmetic results.

The Mohs procedure can be as short as one hour as in the case of this patient, or it can take several hours depending on the number of layers and type of repair, like a skin graft.  This patient’s skin graft took an additional hour.

This photo was taken 11 days after her Mohs surgery and skin graft.

I became very interested in Mohs during my residency and training at the University of Miami, and then later during my dermatopathology fellowship at Roger Williams Hospital at Boston University.  A dermatopathologist diagnoses skin disorders under a microscope.

Removing a tumor and examining the tissue immediately after removal was a natural for me because of my sub-specialty as a dermatopathologist.

Designed by Frederic E. Mohs, M.D., the surgery excises not only the visible tumor but also any “roots” that may have extended beneath the surface of the skin.

This procedure is most commonly used for the treatment of basal and squamous cell carcinomas, the two most common types of skin cancer, although it can also be used to treat melanoma and other types of cancer.

Mohs surgery is often recommended for recurring cancer because its results are so thorough.

My patient 3 1/2 months after Mohs and her skin graft. Her face mask is pulling the top of her ear forward in this photo.

It is ideal for treating cancer in cosmetically and functionally prominent areas such as the nose, eyelids, lips, hairline, ears, hands and feet.

Compared to other skin cancer treatments, Mohs surgery has a very high success rate. As I mentioned, basal cell carcinomas have a 97 to 99% cure rate, while squamous cell carcinomas are cured 94% of the time.

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