Tag Archives: Skin Cancer Tests

logo-300x245 Skin Cancer Tests Houston DermatologistTexas Surgical Dermatology, led by board certified dermatologists Dr. Tri H. Nguyen and Dr. George Hughes III, provides skin cancer tests and treatments to patients in Houston, Katy, Spring, The Woodlands, Texas, and surrounding locations.

Diagnosing Skin Cancer

The dermatologist may diagnose skin cancer using the following approaches:

  • The dermatologist will examine your skin to establish if your skin changes could be skin cancer. More testing may be required to confirm a diagnosis.
  • Take a sample from suspicious-looking areas of the skin, also known as a skin biopsy.  A biopsy can establish the presence and type of skin cancer.
  • Determining the stage of the skin cancer if it is established that the patient has cancer indeed.
  • The spread of superficial skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma is spreads rarely. Therefore, a biopsy that removes the full growth is frequently the only test a patient needs to undergo to establish the stage of the cancer. However, if the patient has Merkel cell carcinoma, melanoma, or large squamous cell carcinoma, then the physician can order more tests to understand the extent of the cancer.
  • More tests may include image testing to assess the lymph nodes for possible cancer. The sentinel lymph node biopsy may be performed to remove a lymph node from the location and test it for cancer.

Physicians use Roman numerals from I up to IV to denote the stage of the cancer. Stage I cancers are restricted to the region where they start. Stage IV denotes advanced stages of cancer where the cancer has spread to other locations in the body.

The dermatologist may ask the following questions:

  • When did you initially notice changes in your skin?
  • Do you have a skin lesion that has changed or grown?
  • Is there an itchy or bleeding lesion on your skin?
  • How painful are your symptoms?

Skin Biopsy Types

If the dermatologist feels that there is a possibility of melanoma, the suspicious region will be taken out and sent to laboratory to be assessed under a microscope. This is known as a skin biopsy.

There are various techniques to conduct a skin biopsy. The doctor will determine the technique depending on the size of the impacted area, location on the body, and other aspects. Any biopsy will create at least a tiny scar. It is good to ask your doctor about scarring before the biopsy. A biopsy should be able to remove as much of the suspicious area as possible to arrive at the correct diagnosis.

A local anesthetic or numbing cream is injected into the location with a minute needle to perform a skin biopsy. This can feel like a prick or sting a bit while the medicine is administered. However, the biopsy itself will be painless.

Board certified dermatologists Dr. Nguyen and Dr. Hughes receive patients from Houston, Katy, Spring, The Woodlands, Texas, and nearby areas for skin cancer tests and treatments.

For more information on procedures and treatments offered at Texas Surgical Dermatology PA please call 832.663.6566 or click here to contact our dermatologists. Helping patients in Houston, The Woodlands, Springs, Katy and other surrounding areas of Texas.

Skin Cancer Tests 

skin-cancer-chart Skin Cancer Tests and Treatments in the Houston Area Houston DermatologistTesting and evaluation is a critical part of skin cancer treatment. One of the key treatments in skin cancer is Mohs surgery. Dr. Tri H. Nguyen is a board certified dermatologist and is also fellowship trained in Mohs surgery. Dr. Nguyen and his team provide skin cancer testing and treatments to patients in Houston, Katy, Spring, The Woodlands, Texas, and surrounding communities.

Pathology and Surgery

Both pathology and surgery place a fundamental part in the treatment of skin cancer. The Mohs surgeon will integrate the role of a pathologist and surgeon in order to accurately track and remove all the tumor roots under the microscope.

At the same time, the surgeon will try to preserve as much as healthy skin as possible. An expert in dermatology and Mohs surgery will try to ensure that all the margins are clear of cancer in order to mitigate the risks of recurrence.

Mohs Surgery Procedure

Once the tests have confirmed the precise skin cancer site, Dr. Nguyen will begin the procedure. Local anesthetic injection will be administered to numb the targeted area. Dr. Nguyen will remove a thin layer of tissue around and below the area of skin cancer. This step will be performed quickly in a few minutes, and a temporary dressing will be placed. The patient may eat or drink at any time.

In the second part of the procedure, the cancer tissue will be prepared onto slides and Dr. Nguyen will examine the slides microscopically to detect remaining traces of cancer. This step requires careful effort and may take about 30 to 60 minutes for meticulous and thorough evaluation of all the margins.

If more cancerous cells are detected, the surgeon will remove another tissue layer but only where the cancer roots are present. This will be done to preserve healthy skin as far as possible. Local anesthesia will be applied at each step to keep the patient comfortable.

The entire process is repeated until the skin tissue is free of skin cancer. Once it is completed, Dr. Nguyen will discuss the wound healing options with the patient. Repairs are usually performed on the same day, and the patient may be required to follow restricted activity for at least a week. Mohs surgery to clear the cancer is the most crucial part of the procedure, and the second part is repairing the wound for proper healing.

Indications for Mohs Surgery

Mohs surgery may not be necessary for all skin cancers. Many can be treated with destruction techniques such as scraping, freezing and lasers, excision with wider safety margins, and even dermatology creams. Mohs surgery may be the best treatment option when the skin cancer has the following characteristics:

  • Recurrent (tumors have re-grown after previous treatment)
  • On the head and neck area
  • On the fingers or toes
  • Large sized tumor
  • Poorly defined (lesion blends into skin without clear borders)
  • High risk or destructive based biopsy

Experienced and board certified dermatologist Dr. Nguyen receives patients from Houston, Katy, Spring, The Woodlands, Texas, and nearby areas for skin cancer treatments.

For more information on procedures and treatments offered at Texas Surgical Dermatology PA please call 832.663.6566 or click here to contact our dermatologists. Helping patients in Houston, The Woodlands, Springs, Katy and other surrounding areas of T

Contact Us

Texas Surgical Dermatology PA
21009 Kuykendahl Rd, Ste A
Spring, TX 77379

Tel: 832.663.6566
FAX: 832.663.6550