Skin cancer is the most common human malignancy. The most common skin cancers include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Dr. Cooper has a great deal of experience treating all of these skin cancers. Often patients are diagnosed with skin cancer by a dermatologist or primary care physician after a biopsy is performed. These patients are then referred to Dr. Cooper for definitive treatment. Additionally, many patients undergo excision of the skin cancer by a Mohs dermatologist, and they are then sent to Dr. Cooper for reconstruction.
If a skin biopsy tests positive for cancer, Dr. Cooper removes any remaining skin cancer. If possible, Dr. Cooper will excise the cancerous sections of the skin and then close the skin using sutures. If the skin cancer is larger, a local skin flap closure or a skin graft may be required.
Treatment recommendations for melanoma are largely dependent on the depth of the cancer and other microscopic variables. Each diagnosis is unique.
For melanoma, the depth of the cancer and associated microscopic features help guide treatment recommendations. Based on the depth of cancerous cells and other associated features, such as ulceration and mitotic index, Dr. Cooper will decide how much skin surrounding the visible melanoma should be removed to prevent the spread of any cancerous cells. A sample of lymph nodes may be collected by using a sentinel lymph node biopsy. If required, this biopsy will assist Dr. Cooper in determining the stage of the melanoma and the best treatment options.
Dr. Cooper also works closely with pathologists, radiologists and oncologists at Northwest Hospital and Swedish Edmonds to ensure patients receive seamlessly coordinated, multidisciplinary care.
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