What are the symptoms of skin cancer?

The most common warning sign of skin cancer is a change on the skin, typically a new mole or skin lesion or a change in an existing mole. Basal cell carcinoma may appear as a small, smooth, pearly or waxy bump on the face ears and neck, or as a flat pink, red or brown lesion on the trunk or arms and legs. Squamous cell carcinoma can appear as a firm, red nodule, or as a rough, scaly flat lesion that may bleed and become crusty. Both basal cell and squamous cell cancers mainly occur on areas of the skin frequently exposed to the sun, but can occur anywhere. The third type of skin cancer is melanoma.

Melanoma usually appears as a pigmented patch or bump. It may resemble a normal mole, but usually has a more irregular appearance. When looking for melanoma, think of ABCD rule of signs to watch for:

  • Asymmetry - the shape of one half doesn't match the other

  • Border - edges are ragged or blurred

  • Color - uneven shades of brown, black, tan, red, white or blue.

  • Diameter - A significant change in size (greater than 6mm)

How can Drs. Bailey and Haghighi help me if I think, or know, I have a skin cancer?

First you will need a consultation where you and Dr. Bailey or Haghighi discuss the necessary treatment. Next, you will be given pre-operative instructions, a written estimate of all charges, and we will schedule your procedure.

What is a biopsy?

A biopsy is a sample of tissue taken from the body in order to examine it more closely. If Dr. Bailey or Haghighi determines a need for a biopsy, it can be performed in our office to verify whether or not you have skin cancer. Dr. Bailey or Haghighi then closes the defect for the best possible aesthetic result. Next, your specimen will be sent by mail or courier to a lab and we will receive your results within a few days. If the biopsy is positive for skin cancer, the correct course of treatment will be discussed with you by Dr. Bailey or Haghighi.

I have been told I need a "frozen section." What is that?

A frozen section involves excising a small portion of the suspected area of skin cancer and sending it by courier to a laboratory for review under a microscope. After reviewing the specimen, the lab calls our office with the diagnosis, and Dr. Bailey or Haghighi and their staff then remove a larger area of tissue if necessary. The process is repeated until all specimens are determined to be cancer-free. Dr. Bailey or Haghighi then closes the defect for the best possible aesthetic result.

I am worried how I will look after surgery.

Dr. Bailey and Haghighi will work tirelessly to leave you with best possible, aesthetically-pleasing result. Please feel free to ask questions or share your concerns during your consultation.

Will my insurance cover the removal and repair of a skin cancer?

We will make every effort to determine if your insurance will cover your course of treatment as well as your approximate cost at your consultation.

Have questions about skin cancer?