SOURCE: Cirillo Institute

May 12, 2017 12:30 ET

Cirillo Institute's Dermatologists Encourage Education for Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May

Victoria A. Cirillo-Hyland, MD, a dermatologist serving the Philadelphia area, emphasizes Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute's focus on detecting and treating skin cancers early

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - May 12, 2017) - When it comes to detecting, diagnosing, and treating skin cancer, it's crucial to enlist the services of a dermatologist. Philadelphia-area dermatologist Victoria A. Cirillo-Hyland, MD, co-founder of Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute, is marking May as national Skin Cancer Awareness Month by emphasizing the necessity of working with a dermatologist to maximize positive outcomes for all skin cancer patients.

Her mission of awareness is threefold, starting with prevention. While skin cancer can develop anywhere on the body and for a variety of reasons, sun exposure is a major contributing factor. Seeking the shade, wearing SPF protective clothing and sunglasses, and using a minimum SPF 30 sunscreen when outdoors can provide significant protection.

The second tactic in the fight against skin cancer is detection. This means patients should be well acquainted with their own skin so they can direct a dermatologist toward particularly suspicious lesions during either a yearly scheduled skin check or, if necessary, during a specially scheduled appointment. For a list of the "ABCDE" guidelines to help you monitor your skin, visit the Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute's page dedicated to skin cancer.

Certain lesions will require a biopsy, which involves a dermatologist taking a small tissue sample to be closely examined in a lab for diagnosis. If cancer is detected, it will be identified -- the main types are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma -- and treatment will be recommended.

The third tactic in maximizing patient outcomes is early and appropriate treatment. For more common, but slower-spreading skin cancers like basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma, a 95 to 99 percent effective solution is Mohs surgery, which involves a dermatologist trained in this advanced technique removing the lesion and a thin layer of surrounding tissue. This tissue will be closely examined under a microscope so the Mohs surgeon can determine whether cancer cells are present. Layers will continue to be removed and scrutinized until the margins are clear, meaning no cancer cells are detected. This is not only an extremely effective way to remove cancer from the skin, it also minimizes the treatment's cosmetic impact. The dermatologist will recommend which skin cancers are appropriate for Mohs surgery. Surgical excision is the treatment of choice for early stage malignant melanomas. A later stage malignant melanoma will require coordination of care with a dermatologist, surgeon, and oncologist.

While May is ideal for spreading awareness of skin cancer, the problem is a year-round one and requires constant attention. For more information about skin cancer, or to talk with a dermatologist in the Philadelphia area, call Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute at 610.525.5028 or reach out online.

Founded in 1968, Bryn Mawr Skin & Cancer Institute is the Medical Dermatology practice of Cirillo Institute. Cirillo Institute is also comprised of:

  • Cirillo Cosmetic Dermatology Spa (Cosmetic Dermatology practice) and
  • Cirillo Center for Plastic Surgery (Plastic Surgery practice)

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