The most common types of skin cancer include: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Despite development of various alternative therapeutic methods, surgical resection of the neoplastic lesion remains the main treatment method.
Lesions located on the face, an exposed body region conditioning the perception of the given person, are a particular clinical challenge. Eyelid, nose or auricle infiltration by the neoplasm frequently forces their partial or total resection, resulting in facial deformities. Plastic surgery allows to perform immediate or delayed reconstruction of tissue deficiencies, frequently making post-operative scars almost unnoticeable.
It is difficult for the patients themselves to diagnose early signs of skin cancers. They are often marginalized for a very long time. Most skin cancers develop in the regions of the body exposed to sunlight, such as the face or hands. In the case of the basal cell carcinoma, the initial lesions have the form fine pearly nodules or telangiectasia. The squamous cell carcinoma is often developed based on actinic keratosis, a scaly skin lesion. Sudden growth of this change or its spontaneous bleeding should make the patient suspicious. Additionally, attention must be given to skin ulcers, healing through scar formation.
Frequency of skin cancer increases along with age. After attaining the age of 50, the patients should be more vigilant. Self-control of the skin, especially of exposed body parts, is a must. I also recommend periodical check-ups with a primary care physician or dermatologist.
It must be noted that dermatoscopic examination does not allow to formulate the final diagnosis. The final diagnosis of skin cancer is possible only based on histopathological tests of the tissue specimen of the lesion. It may be sampled in the form of an incisional biopsy or excisional biopsy.
Alternative skin cancer treatment methods, such as cryotherapy, or use of topical drugs, such as imiquimod, preclude
performance of a reliable histopathological examination confirming total removal of the neoplasm. They also do not offer
treatment of lesions located in such regions as eyelids, lips or auricles. Furthermore, they can lead to disturbance of the
macroscopic image of the lesion, making it difficult to diagnose. In my practice, I have encountered cases of incomplete removal of a lesion by means of cryotherapy or laser therapy multiple times. It forces the extension of the tissue resection margin, causing a significant deformity and functional deficiency of the area operated on.
Surgical treatment allows to precisely resect the neoplastic lesion with reliable histopathological determination of its type and confirmation of resection totality. Furthermore, resection may be planned to include a reconstructive procedure for the resulting tissue deficit. This allows to hide the post-operative scars in unexposed regions, such as wrinkle lines or folds.
I have broad experience in the scope of treatment of skin cancer located both in the facial region and in other regions of the torso or limbs. As a plastic surgeon, I specialise in resection and reconstruction of neoplasms of the eyelids, lip region, nose, auricles and scalp.
The reconstruction method is a component of surgical treatment that is prepared individually for every clinical case. It is
frequently possible to carry out simultaneous resection and reconstruction. Depending on the needs, reconstruction ca be
performed using a skin graft, flap techniques, tissue expander and even microsurgical techniques, allowing to improve even the most complete facial tissue deficiencies.
Each treatment method available for the given clinical case is discussed in detail with the patient during the consultation