Skin Cancer Treatment
Anya Bandt, MD treats precancerous and skin cancer cells at her San Rafael dermatology clinic. Call 415-454-4444 for an appointment.
Precancerous Treatments - Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a treatment that uses special drugs, called photosensitizing agents, along with intense light to kill precancerous and cancerous cells. When a photosensitizer like Levulan® Kerastick® is exposed to a specific wavelength of light, they produce a form of oxygen that kills nearby cells. Blu-U® Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy can help clear the skin of actinic keratoses which are premalignant growths in sun-exposed areas, mainly the face, chest, arms, and hands. It is also effective for moderate to severe acne.
Melanoma is the most dangerous and aggressive form of skin cancer and develops in the cells that produce melanin – the pigment that gives our skin its color. Melanoma occurs when damaged skin cells rapidly multiply and form malignant tumors that tend to spread to other parts of the body. Moles can often be confused with melanomas but they often have an irregular shape. The majority of melanomas are black or brown but they can also be pink, red, purple, blue or white. The main cause of melanoma is overexposure to ultraviolet radiation most commonly from sunshine and tanning beds or lamps. If recognized and treated promptly, melanoma can be successfully treated.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma begins in the basal cells — a type of cell within the skin that produces new skin cells as old ones die off. Basal cell carcinoma often appears as a waxy bump, though it can take other forms. Basal cell carcinoma occurs most often on areas of the skin that are often exposed to the sun, such as your face and neck. Most basal cell carcinomas are thought to be caused by long-term exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight. Avoiding excessive sun exposure and using sunscreen may help protect against basal cell carcinoma.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin is a common form of skin cancer that develops in the squamous cells that make up the middle and outer layer of the skin. Most squamous cell carcinomas are also caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation, either from sunlight or from tanning beds or lamps. Avoiding ultraviolet light helps reduce your risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin and other forms of skin cancer.
Mohs Surgery | Skin Cancer Surgery
Mohs micrographic surgery treats skin cancer differently – the physician is the surgeon, pathologist, and reconstructive surgeon. Dr. Bandt is a Mohs surgeon. The Mohs procedure takes the cancerous tumor out in stages. The visible portion of the tumor is surgically removed, divided into sections and mapped. This tissue is then examined with a microscope to determine if the skin cancer might still be present. If cancer cells still remain, additional tissue is removed and repeated as necessary. Due to this rigorous examination of tissue, Mohs surgery has an extremely high cure rate. The entire procedure is performed in our office with local anesthesia.
Dr. Bandt has expertise in reconstruction techniques as well, including cosmetic procedures to provide the best aesthetic result for her patients.