Skin Cancer Treatments
When skin cancer is identified during a skin evaluation, Dr. Kodama has a variety of treatment options from which to choose. The one she recommends will depend on the type and extent of the lesion.
Dr. Kodama may identify a skin lesion that hasn’t yet become a form of skin cancer, but needs to be treated before it gets worse. The most common types of pre-cancerous skin lesions are Actinic Keratosis and dysplastic nevus.
Also known as pre-squamous cell cancer spots, Actinic Keratosis can be treated in Dr. Kodama’s office. Treatment options include:
- Cryotherapy using liquid nitrogen spray
- Topical chemotherapy in the form of a skin cream
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT) using specialized ultraviolet light equipment. Unlike many dermatologist offices, Dr. Kodama’s office is equipped with this technology.
Commonly called an atypical mole or pre-malanoma spot, a dysplastic nevus must also be removed before it has a chance to grow further. Dr. Kodama removes these skin lesions by excising the growth from the skin, performing a biopsy and following the patient closely following the biopsy.
Comprehensive Skin Cancer Treatment
There are dozens of types of skin cancers, but three kinds make up the majority of cases. These are:
- Melanoma: the most aggressive form of skin cancer that affects about 1 in 50 people.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma: an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the skin’s epidermis. Some 700,000 cases are diagnosed annually in the U.S.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma: the most common type of skin cancer with 2.8 million cases in the U.S. each year.
Regardless of the type, Dr. Kodama will recommend one of the following treatment options.
- Excisional surgery or scraping the lesion out of the skin.
- Moh’s micrographic surgery which has a 99 percent cure rate for cancers of the face and large lesions.
- Electrodessication and Curettage, mostly for superficial basal cell carcinoma.
- Topical chemotherapy in the form of a cream applications.
- Oral chemotherapy in the form of a pill.
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT)
Following treatment, Dr. Kodama will recommend a course of follow-up treatment so the patient’s skin can be closely monitored for further issues.
- Patients with Actinic keratosis should see Dr. Kodama every three months to every year, depending on the level of sun damage.
- Patients with a type of cancer will see Dr. Kodama for a one month wound check then every three months and eventually every six months for monitoring.
Dr. Kodama’s Qualifications
Dr. Kodama’s background in clinical research and clinical treatment makes her uniquely qualified to identify and treat pre-cancerous and cancerous skin lesions. After getting her medical degree, Dr. Kodama focused on studying skin cancer in a laboratory setting. She wrote several textbooks and published scientific research studies in prestigious journals that focused on the identification and treatment of skin cancer.
To help patients on a more personal basis, Dr. Kodama returned to practicing dermatology in a medical office setting. As a dermatologist, she can not only help patients identify and treat skin cancer, but educate patients about ways to prevent skin cancer from occurring.