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Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with more than one million cases diagnosed annually. It is important to recognize that approximately 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are a direct result of repeated sun exposure over the years. Statistically, there are more reported cases of skin cancer each year than the combined annual incidence of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers.

The most common cause of skin cancer is excessive exposure to sunlight. Most skin cancers occur on sun-exposed parts of the body, such as the head, neck, arms, and hands. Patients with fair-skin who sunburn easily develop skin cancer more frequently than those who are dark and tan easily. Severe, blistering sunburns during childhood also increases your risk of developing skin cancer, specifically melanoma.

Basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer, is a slow growing cancer, which typically does not metastasize, but can cause destruction of the skin, bone, and cartilage.

Squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common skin cancer, grows more quickly than basal cell carcinoma and may spread to lymph nodes and internal organs.

Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer and may be life-threatening if not detected and treated early. Melanomas often have an irregular shape, ill-defined borders and variable color (brown, blue, red, white, black or a combination of colors).

Treatment of skin cancer should completely remove the cancer, preserve normal skin, preserve function - and provide an optimal cosmetic result. Treatment options of skin cancer include cryotherapy (freezing), curettage and electrodessication (scraping and burning with an electric needle), excision (surgical removal), radiation therapy, or Mohs surgery. The method of treatment depends on a number of factors including location of the cancer, size of the cancer, and previous therapies.

Minimize sun exposure between the hours of 10AM and 3PM when the sun is the strongest. Wear a hat, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when out in the sun. Apply a sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher to all exposed skin, including the tops of the ears. Reapply sunscreen frequently and liberally, at least every 1 to 2 hours. Sunscreen should always be reapplied after swimming or perspiring. Avoid tanning booths since the UV light used in these facilities increases your risk of developing skin cancer.

Yardy Tse, MD is Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology and a Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. Practicing in San Diego for over 23 years, Dr Tse is recognized by physicians and patients alike for her expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. Dr. Tse is also highly regarded for her proficiency in laser surgery and cosmetic medicine.

Experience, Knowledge and Surgical Judgement. As a Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery, Dr. Yardy Tse has extensive training in this specialized surgery. Since the onset of her career, Dr. Tse has performed many thousands of Mohs treatments and is proficient in all aspects of this procedure includeing anesthesia, anatomy, surgery, pathology and reconstruction.