What to Know About Skin Cancer Dermatology | VIDA

A new approach to Skin Cancer Surgery

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop a type of skin cancer by the age of 70. While this may look like an alarming figure, skin cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer. Once you have been diagnosed, bureaucratic procedures can have you bouncing from one doctor to another, turning a simple procedure into an endless maze…but have you considered a one-stop center for your cancer-free journey?


Should I pick a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon for skin cancer?

The best answer is both. A specialist in skin cancer dermatology should be your go-to option for diagnosis. The moment you notice any lumps, moles or unusual scarring, consulting a dermatologist will give you a head start. Board-certified dermatologists have a trained eye in clinical dermatology to spot any type of skin cancer. If your cancer is caught in the early stages, it can even be removed on local anesthesia and without skin cancer surgery. On the contrary, if your cancer is more advanced, a plastic surgeon can help you with effective alternatives. Your treatment will depend on the type and stage of cancer you have.

Types of skin cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a type of skin cancer that develops in the upper layers of the skin. Typically, SCCs look like scabs with a top of crusty skin growing on inflamed, red skin. Since the most common cause for this cancer is overexposure of UV rays, SCC is commonly found on areas that are exposed to the sun. However, it can also appear on the inside of the mouth, nose, and genitalia.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) are abnormal cell growths we see as a bump, sore or scar. BCC is the most common type of skin cancer. The good news is that it is slow-growing, and it rarely metastasizes. However, if it goes untreated the sick cells can attack, an even, disfigure, healthy tissue surrounding them. BCC can be the result of years of overexposure to UV rays, so it commonly appears in arms, back and face.


Melanoma is caused when the cells in charge of producing pigment mutate and grow rapidly. As the cells mutate, they form a tumor that resembles a mole. This is why it is very important to check any moles that may have changed or have a “funny” appearance. If untreated, melanoma can be deathly, and skin cancer surgery is almost always needed.


Skin Cancer Treatment

Non-surgical options

If skin cancer is caught in time, there is a major chance of non-invasive options being the needed treatment. For example, cell skin cancer in its early stages can be treated non-surgically via light or laser-based treatments or topical treatments. A dermatologist can even remove a tumor inside their office. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, procedures that need an internist doctor, such as radiation, chemotherapy or skin cancer surgery may be needed. It all depends on the cancer type and the stage you are in.

Skin cancer surgery

The most effective type of skin cancer plastic surgery is called Mohs Surgery. Developed in the 1930s, Mohs Surgery allows the removal of all cancerous cells while sparing healthy tissue. If done properly, Mohs Surgery can leave the smallest possible scar compared to other skin cancer procedures. This is why it is very important you should only go with board-certified surgeons, like Dr. Quiroz. During the procedure, the plastic surgeon removes a thin layer of tissue which is examined under a microscope. If any cancer cells remain, the surgeon knows exactly where they are located and removes a second layer of tissue. This procedure is repeated until no cancer cells are left.

Plastic surgery after skin cancer removal

While many people don’t see the relationship between skin cancer and cosmetic dermatology, at VIDA we see skin cancer dermatology as a holistic process that will help the patient recover in all aspects. Sometimes, the procedures needed to cure skin cancer, especially those needed for more aggressive types of cancer or advanced stages, like plastic surgery for melanoma removal; can leave unsightly scars that can affect a person’s self-esteem. This is when skin cancer reconstructive surgery enters. A team of specialized plastic surgeons will make their best to erase traces of the processes used to get rid of cancer. This type of procedure is especially helpful when cancer attacked tissue surrounding your nose, eyes and or lips.

If you want to know more about how plastic surgery can help you with skin cancer, call (619) 738-2144 to schedule your one on one consultation with Dr. Quiroz.


Dr. Alejandro Quiroz

Dr. Quiroz is our board-certified Chief Plastic Surgeon at VIDA Clinic in Tijuana. He specializes in Facial Rejuvenation, Neck lift, Buttock Augmentation, Breast Augmentation, Body Contouring and more. He is member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, San Diego Plastic Surgery Society, the Mexican Society of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and the Mexican Council of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, to mention a few.