Skin Cancer Specialist

Balcones Dermatology & Aesthetics

Dermatologist & Cosmetic Dermatologist located in Austin, TX

When you discover an abnormal skin growth, it’s important to rule out cancer. David A. Bushore, MD, at Balcones Dermatology and Aesthetics, has a history of preventing, diagnosing, and treating skin cancer. Located in Austin, Texas, he can evaluate your skin abnormality, take a biopsy, and even remove it right in his state-of-the-art office. If you have an irregular mole or rashy area and are concerned about atypical growth, don’t wait! Contact the office today or schedule your appointment online.

Skin Cancer Q & A

What is skin cancer?

In the United States, one in five adults is diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime, making it the nation’s most common type of cancer. Skin cancer occurs when skin cells grow uncontrollably, leading to cellular abnormalities; these cancerous cells can then spread to other organs and tissues.

What are the different types of skin cancer?

Basal cell carcinoma represents 80% of skin cancer cases; it is slow-growing and rarely spreads. It’s often found on the head and neck and looks like raised, waxy, pink bumps.
Squamous cell carcinoma is a more aggressive form of skin cancer. It appears on the hands, head, neck, lips, and ears in patches of red, scaly, or rough skin.
Melanoma is not as common as basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, but it’s the most dangerous form of skin cancer, resulting in 75% of skin cancer-related deaths. It causes skin cells to make pigments, creating moles or lesions with irregularities in an ABCDE formation:

  • Asymmetrical
  • Border irregularities
  • Color
  • Diameter
  • Evolution (how the mole changes over time)

Who is at risk for skin cancer?

While anyone can develop skin cancer, certain factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Extended exposure to UV rays
  • Age 40 or above
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Fair complexion
  • Organ transplant

To reduce your risk, Dr. Bushore recommends wearing sunscreen and applying it regularly when you’re outdoors. Wearing a hat with a wide brim can also reduce your risk.

How is skin cancer diagnosed?

Dr. Bushore completes mole and skin checks to diagnose, treat, and prevent skin cancer. This procedure takes place in one of the surgical suites at Balcones Dermatology and Aesthetics.
After administering a local anesthetic, Dr. Bushore takes an excision of the area. Using a scalpel, he removes the spot, as well as a small sample of normal tissue surrounding it. He may also cut a small triangle on each side to reduce scarring.
After removal, Dr. Bushore uses two layers of stitches to mend the wound. The interior layer is absorbed by the body, while the outer layer needs to be removed in 7-14 days.
A biopsy is performed on the removed skin sample to determine if the cells are cancerous.

How is skin cancer treated?

Dr. Bushore performs skin cancer treatment on a case-by-case basis, depending on the type of cancer, its size, and where it’s located. For basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, he may recommend:

  • Primary excision
  • Mohs surgery
  • Electrodesiccation and curettage
  • Cryosurgery
  • Topical chemotherapeutic creams

In cases of melanoma, Dr. Bushore takes a more aggressive approach, including a wide surgical excision and sentinel lymph node mapping, which determines if cancer has spread to your lymph nodes. He may also recommend medications or radiation therapy.If you’re at risk of developing skin cancer, don’t wait. Early detection reduces the risk of the cancer spreading. Contact Dr. Bushore today to schedule your appointment, or you can book online.