Parish Nurse Update - July 24, 2011

posted Jul 25, 2011, 2:28 PM by St. Joseph Cheyenne   [ updated Jul 25, 2011, 2:30 PM ]
Parish Nurse Update: Diagnosis and Treatment of Skin Cancer If your Dr. /NP suspects that your skin problem may be cancer; you may need a biopsy of the area. In some cases your Dr. /NP may refer you to a specialist for treatment. After local anesthesia (numbing) of the area the Dr will take a part or all of the abnormal skin area and send it to the lab. A pathologist there will check the tissue under a microscope for cancer cells. Treatment for the skin cancer depends on the type of cancer. Surgery is the usual treatment for skin cancer. Many skin cancers can be removed quickly and easily. Other treatments sometimes used are: chemotherapy-using a drug to kill the cancer cells. This can be done by using a cream or lotion to the affected area or a medication taken by mouth or given in your vein (IV). Radiation is another type of treatment used in some cases. This uses high energy rays to kill the cancer cells. The goal of treatment is to completely remove or destroy the skin cancer. It is important to check your skin regularly for changes in the size, shape, color, and feel of spots and moles or for any new skin changes and notify your Dr. /NP right away. Most skin cancers can be cured if found and treated early. ( topics 1/1/11) For questions on other health issues, resources, or referrals call the parish nurse office @ 635-9261,ext.20. Blessings!