Skin Cancer Specialist

Alaska Dermatology, Laser & Skin Cancer Center

Michael Cusack, MD

Clinical Dermatology located in Anchorage, AK

If you’re one of the more than three million people in the United States who have skin cancer, you know the importance of having a highly experienced, knowledgeable physician working to monitor your condition. At Alaska Dermatology, Laser & Skin Cancer Center in Anchorage, Alaska, Dr. Michael Cusack treats skin-related cancers -- the most common type of cancer -- with the latest technologies and treatment guidelines. If you're worried about skin cancer or require treatment for it, call or book an appointment with Dr. Cusack today.

Skin Cancer Q & A

What is skin cancer?

Several types of skin cancer exist, such as:

Actinic keratoses

This condition causes precancerous skin growths that appear as dry, scaling patches of skin. Though anyone can develop actinic keratoses, it's most common in people over 40 due to years of sun exposure on the forearms, hands, neck, and head.

Without treatment, this precancerous condition can result in another type of cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma

The most common type of skin cancer appears as a flesh-colored bump or pink patch of skin. It develops on skin frequently exposed to the sun, but can also form on the legs, abdomen, and chest.

This type of cancer is highly treatable, but if left untreated, basal cell carcinoma can affect surrounding tissue and grow into your nerves and bones, causing permanent damage.

Squamous cell carcinoma

The second most common type of skin cancer that appears as a red bump, a scaly patch of skin, or a sore that keeps reopening. This type of cancer develops in areas of your body that get sun exposure, including your arms, face, back, and neck.

Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to treating cancer and preventing it from spreading into other areas of your body.

Melanoma

Typically develops in a mole on your skin but can also show up as a new dark spot. This is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and an early diagnosis and treatment plan is necessary to protect your health.

How is skin cancer diagnosed?

Dr. Cusack often identifies skin cancer through a physical examination. For this reason, it’s important to have routine skin exams so that Dr. Cusack can detect skin cancer early.

If irregularities exist, he may remove a part of the affected skin for further testing to determine if it’s skin cancer and what type.

If you have concerns about an abnormal-looking mole or area of your skin, schedule an appointment with Dr. Cusack as soon as possible for a prompt diagnosis.

What treatments are available for skin cancer?

Dr. Cusack determines what stage of cancer you have based on additional testing. He can treat superficial basal cell carcinomas by removing the cancer growth from your skin. In squamous cell carcinomas, you may undergo further testing to determine if cancer is spreading.

Depending on the type and stage of your cancer, Dr. Cusack can recommend treatments that include:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation
  • Chemotherapy

To learn more about skin cancer treatment options, schedule an appointment online or by phone.