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An_245675 posted:
My Mother, who is in her 60's, has had at least 3 procedures to remove skin cancer (basal) removed this year. She is under the care of a Internist not a Dermatologist. I have encouraged her to see a dermatologist but she has yet too. Her doctor mentioned possible melanoma at her last visit and is scheduled for more procedures to remove more areas. Is an internist qualified to care for such a patient or should I insist she see a skin cancer specialist?
millicentbash responded:
Hi there. I'm in my sixties as well, a woman, and have had all three types of skin cancer. My primary care person is a certified nurse practitioner who sent me to a dermatologist where my melanoma was diagnosed.

The type of removal procedure for a melanoma is something that needs to be done by a dermatological surgeon (a skin doc who does that kind of stuff). Yes, an internist can remove the suspicious area for biopsy BUT if it is positive for melanoma your mom will need to have further removal of surrounding tissue (it's called a MOHS procedure) to have it tested to find out what stage it is.

I've had basal cell cancers removed by 'freezing' by my family doctor in the past. But a melanoma should NOT be frozen off and any area that is suspicious for a melanoma should be surgically removed and biopsied.

It's also surprising that basal cell carcinomas that have been frozen off can lie just under the skin and still there. That's what happened to me. We found it out when I did a regimen of Carac Cream on my face. All the frozen off areas ended up coming back and were finally eradicated by the cream.

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