There are three major types of skin cancer — basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Basal cell carcinomas and most squamous cell carcinomas are slow growing and highly treatable, especially if found early. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. It affects deeper layers of the skin and has the greatest potential to spread to other tissues in the body. Squamous cell carcinoma also can spread internally.
James Ott, M.D., Mayo Clinic Health System skin care specialist and family medicine physician at Winneshiek Medical Center reminds patients that skin cancer forms primarily on areas of sun-exposed skin, including the scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms and hands, and on the legs in women. However, Dr. Ott advises that it can also develop on areas that are rarely exposed to the sun – the palms, spaces between the toes and the genital area. Skin cancer affects people of all skin tones, including those with darker complexions.
At Winneshiek Medical Center, Dr. Ott diagnoses and treats skin cancer in collaboration with Mayo Clinic Health System surgeons William Remington, M.D. (Ear, Nose, Throat) and Caroline Schwickerath, M.D. (General Surgery). If you have skin concerns, make an appointment with Dr. Ott by calling 563-382-2911.