Skin cancer care in San Antonio, Texas
Our skin specialists and medical oncologists at Methodist Healthcare provide comprehensive treatment for our patients with all types of skin cancer.
For more information about our skin cancer services, please call askSARAH at (210) 507-0941.
What causes skin cancer?
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. Artificial radiation from sunlamps and tanning booths can also cause skin cancer. Exposure to the sun is the primary cause of melanoma, although some patients have a genetic predisposition to developing these cancers.
It is important that skin cancers be found and treated early. If left untreated, they can quickly invade and destroy nearby tissue.
Types of skin cancer
At Methodist Healthcare, we provide cancer care for three major types of skin cancer:
- Basal cell carcinoma: This is the most common type of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma develops in the outermost layer of skin. This cancer usually grows slowly and does not spread to other tissues in the body.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: This cancer develops in the uppermost layer of skin cells. Squamous cell carcinoma usually grows slowly. However, in some cases, it can grow fast and spread to other tissues in the body. If treated early, this type of cancer is rarely fatal. However, cancer can be fatal if it spreads beyond the skin.
- Melanoma: This is cancer of the melanocytes, the cells that produce skin color and give moles their dark color. The disease typically starts in the skin, but it also may arise in other areas where melanocytes are found, such as in the eyes, digestive system, nail beds or lymph nodes. Melanomas account for less than 5 percent of all skin cancer cases; however, they are more dangerous because they are far more likely to spread to other parts of the body.
Skin cancer symptoms
Skin cancer affects people of all skin tones, including individuals with darker complexions. When melanoma occurs in people with dark skin tones, it's more likely to occur in areas not normally exposed to the sun, such as the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
It's important to schedule an appointment with a specialist in dermatology care if you experience:
- A pearly or waxy bump
- A flat, flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesion
- Bleeding or scabbing sores that heal and return
- A firm, red nodule
- A flat lesion with a scaly, crusted surface
- A large, brownish spot with darker speckles
- Moles that bleed or change in color, size or feel
- A small lesion with an irregular border and portions that appear red, pink, white, blue or blue-black
- Painful lesions that itch or burn
- Dark lesions on your palms, soles, fingertips or toes or on mucous membranes lining your mouth, nose, vagina or anus
Skin cancer treatment
If the cancer is isolated to a certain area of the body, surgery may be recommended to remove the area of skin that is affected. Various forms of therapy, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy or cryotherapy (freezing) are also available options.
About Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute
Methodist Healthcare is part of Sarah Cannon, the Cancer Institute of HCA Healthcare. Our family of hospitals provides comprehensive cancer services with convenient access to cutting-edge therapies for people facing cancer in our communities. From diagnosis, to treatment and survivorship care, our oncology expertise ensures you have access to locally-trusted care with the support of a globally-recognized network.
Have cancer questions? We can help. askSARAH is a dedicated helpline for your cancer-related questions. Our specially-trained nurses are available 24/7 and all calls are confidential. Contact askSARAH at (210) 507-0941 or chat online at askSARAH.