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Saturday
Jul062013

Surviving Skin Cancer Can Change Your Life, But It Doesn’t Have to Change Your Looks

If you are a skin cancer survivor, congratulations!

Hopefully, you have survived physically unscathed and can carry on with your life without much change to your skin (though you are undoubtedly more educated and conscientious about skin care). However, it’s likely you may have emerged free of cancer, but with noticeable scars or deformations to the skin that can make it difficult to feel “normal” again, at least as far as your appearance is concerned.

When you receive a diagnosis of skin cancer, your dermatologist will advise you regarding the type of skin cancer and the best course of treatment to remove it. Some skin cancer is caught very early and can be treated on the surface. Other types of skin cancer require surgical excision to remove all of it and melanoma may require surgical excision and further treatments. Following treatment, your dermatologist may advise you to consult with a plastic surgeon to repair your skin’s appearance. 

It’s not uncommon for a cosmetic or plastic surgeon to be part of the recovery process for cancer survivors—Breast cancer patients who have undergone a mastectomy may choose to have their breast reconstructed (just look at Angelina Jolie).

But when it comes to choosing a plastic surgeon, be sure to choose one whose expertise is in the area of the body that the skin cancer has affected. Skin cancer tends to affect areas that are exposed to the sun the most consistently, like the face and neck. Dr. Mac, one of San Francisco’s best plastic surgeon, would be a natural fit for these areas because he’s board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and is Chief of Head and Neck surgeon at Alameda County Medical Center.

Not only can he perform the appropriate reconstructive surgeries, Dr. Mac is also certified to biopsy and diagnose any suspicious looking moles or lesions. Should the biopsied cells be cancerous, he may suggest surgically remove them.

Of course, there’s a lot that goes into picking a cosmetic surgeon, regardless of your reasons. One of the most important factors for people tends to be how comfortable they feel with the surgeon and how confident they are in his abilities.

You already know that Dr. Mac is extremely qualified and has a long list of happy patients. But it’s also worthwhile to call out what’s at the core of his medical philosophy—his dedication to his patients:

Cosmetic surgery, like all medicine, is a blend of art, science and compassionate care. My aim is to listen carefully and advise you of the best options given your unique goals and the utmost consideration for your safety.”

We cannot end this blog post without mentioning that consistent preventative measures, like always wearing sunscreen (even on cloudy days), are an enormously important part of preventing skin cancer. Luckily Dr. Mac’s patient care staff is always available to offer educational materials, skin products, and advice to answer questions you may have. Just ask!

If you’re interested in chatting with Dr. Mac about your treatment options, just send us an email and we’ll schedule a consultation. 

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