Skin cancer words to know

  • Basal cell carcinoma: The most common form of skin cancer. Occurs in the epidermis. These growths are often round and pearly or darkly pigmented.
  • Cancer: The uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. Cancerous cells are also called malignant cells.
  • Epidermis: The uppermost portion of skin.
  • Excision: A simple surgical process to cut the lesion from the skin.
  • Frozen section: A surgical procedure in which the cancerous lesion is removed and microscopically examined by a pathologist prior to wound closure to ensure all cancerous cells have been removed.
  • General anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
  • Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.
  • Local flap: A surgical procedure used for skin cancer in which healthy, adjacent tissue is repositioned over the wound.
  • Melanoma: A skin cancer that is most often distinguished by its pigmented blackish or brownish coloration and irregular and ill-defined borders is the most serious form of skin cancer. It occurs in the deepest portion of the epidermis, and for this reason, melanoma is the most likely form of skin cancer to spread quickly in the skin and to other parts of the body.
  • Mohs surgery: A surgical procedure that’s used when skin cancer is like an iceberg. Beneath the skin, the cancerous cells cover a much larger region and there are no defined borders.
  • Nevi: A mole.
  • Skin graft: A surgical procedure used for skin cancer. Healthy skin is removed from one area of the body and relocated to the wound site. A suture line is positioned to follow the natural creases and curves of the face if possible, to minimize the appearance of the resulting scar.