Skin Cancer Specialists
For any type of skin cancer, the level of treatment can vary widely. A dermatologist is usually the skin cancer specialist that will treat your concern. If it’s something less serious like a benign mole, or a cancer that isn’t melanoma, this may simply be treated in their office. However, a large or aggressive tumor, may be a job for the oncologists. Read on to learn more about the professionals responsible for detecting and resolving skin cancer.
The Types Of Specialists
There are a great range of health care professionals and with much of health now going digital, there are new forms of health specialists available to help you. Traditionally, the health care specialists involved in skin cancer are:
- Primary care provider
- Plastic surgeon
Each of these are involved in your skin cancer treatment on some level. One of the biggest shifts in the digital age is the move online. This has given us faster access to health services than ever before. You can also expect to see an Online Dermatologist or Doctor too. Our First Derm dermatologists, for example, can see to your skin concern quickly, saving you time on visits to a primary care provider.
So, what role does each of these skin cancer specialists do?
Primary Care Provider
Primary care providers vary from Nurses and physician assistants right through to doctors such as family physicians, pediatricians, geriatricians, and gynecologists. They typically provide preventative care and education. They will diagnose and treat many conditions but in the case of skin cancer they are likely to refer you to a specialist.
These professionals are the ones we rely on to correctly identify a lesion, rash, spot or mark that could potentially be a form of skin cancer. For some of us, we’re lucky enough to have close access to a primary care provider. For others, perhaps this is the most challenging aspect of getting treatment. Using our online dermatologists can help you with that. For as little as $30 you can be seen by a skin cancer specialist who can immediately identify skin cancer through your uploaded images.
Dermatologists are doctors trained in all things skin, hair and nails. They usually have experience with skin cancer and this is really your first stop when looking for skin cancer screening. Dermatologists are trained to use specific tools such as a Dermatoscope. This is a special magnifying glass that allows them to see the skin up close and examine skin structures that are invisible to the naked eye.
A dermatologist can perform a biopsy, examine your results and even treat many forms of skin cancer in their office.
So what is an Online Dermatologist? An online dermatologist is usually a dermatologist with specific digital training. This allows them to better identify lesions online through images and patient descriptions. They will help to perform proper skin cancer checks and give you vital information that can be passed on to a primary care provider. This speeds up the entire process by allowing you to get checked at home, instantly. After showing your online results to a primary care provider, they can fast-track you to treatment with a dermatologist at their clinic.
A pathologist might not be necessary in your journey to skin cancer treatment. However, these doctors specialize in examining tissue samples and body fluids. More often than not, a pathologist is needed to make a definite skin cancer diagnosis.
When you doctor biopsies a lesion they will send it on to a Pathologist who will check for any abnormalities. This is vital for diagnosing skin cancer and the stage.
Oncologists are your skin cancer experts. If the skin cancer is advance or appears on high risk skin then an Oncologist will treat you. They are responsible for many forms of surgery, medications and radiation. There are 3 main types of oncologists:
- Surgical Oncologist – This one goes without saying: they treat the cancer with surgery
- Medical Oncologist – These doctors are responsible for treatment via targeted therapy, immunotherapy and chemotherapy
- Radiation Oncologist – they treat cancer with radiation therapy
Plastic surgeons play an indirect role in your skin cancer treatment. Usually skin cancer treatment involves surgery and this can leave a scar, spot or lesion. Depending on where the skin cancer appears and the severity, a plastic surgeon may be used to repair any defects.
We hope we’ve shed some light on skin cancer specialists and the role they will play in your treatment. Remember that online services such as ours are a great way to speed up this journey and may be the difference: the sooner skin cancer is spotted, the better.
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The Specialist doctor from the University Hospital in Gothenburg, alumnus UC Berkeley. My doctoral dissertation is about Digital Health and I have published 5 scientific articles in teledermatology and artificial intelligence and others.