Precancerous lesions can be precursors to certain types of skin cancer and are commonly found on the mouth or other parts of the face. There are four prominent types of precancerous lesions which include:
- Actinic Keratosis
- Atypical Fibroxanthoma (AFX)
- Atypical Moles
- Melanoma in Situ
These types of skin abnormalities are known to develop into skin cancer over time due to genetic mutations. Precancerous lesions don’t always turn into cancer, but it is still important to have them monitored by one of our Orange County dermatologists. Dr. Tony Nakhla is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatological surgeon with over a decade of experience treating patients with skin cancer and precancerous lesions before they evolve into skin cancer.
Causes of Skin Cancer Lesions on the Face, Neck and Body
There are certain factors that are known to contribute to the development of precancerous lesions. Some of the main causes include:
- Sun exposure (lack of sun protection over the years can cumulatively make individuals more susceptible to precancerous lesions)
- Heavy alcohol consumption
Skin cancer prevention can be achieved by making some positive life changes and eliminating or minimizing the effects of these factors and elements as much as possible. These are known risks and the key to detection is also prevention of such risks.
Importance of Seeing a Dermatologist to Treat Precancerous Lesions Early on
Orange County dermatologist Dr. Nakhla is able to diagnose and monitor and treat precancerous lesions to see if they change over time. If these lesions end up becoming cancerous, treatments can be implemented to eliminate these cancers in their early stages before they grow into more serious medical concerns. Treatments include surgical removal as well as Mohs micrographic surgery. This is a popular procedure especially when the lesion or cancerous cells are present on delicate skin such as the face. Having cancerous lesions treated early can also result in less scarring and improve survival rates.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Skin Lesions by a Board-Certified Dermatologist and Surgeon
Precancerous lesions can often be diagnosed based on observations and behaviors of the lesions. To confirm a diagnosis, a skin cancer specialist may have any suspicious lesions biopsied so that the cells can be examined in a lab under a microscope. If cancer is discovered or is expected to soon develop, there are several minimally invasive treatment options that can eliminate the problem.
If you think you might have any precancerous lesions, please schedule an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon in our Orange County offices.