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Recurring Actinic Keratosis

From the Colorado Dermatology Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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Colorado Springs Dermatologist Dr. Reagan Anderson

Video Transcript

So here’s another daily do from your local dermatologist!

All right a pre cancer or an actinic keratosis that doesn’t heal after treatment, what do you do? And please realize that everything in life and everything in medicine is a spectrum from healthy to diseased, and so when you come into your local dermatologist, and we look at something and say hey, I think that’s an actinic keratosis or pre cancer. You know these things that have about a 10% chance of turning into a squamous cell cancer over about 10 years. We like to treat those so that we can mitigate that risk as much as possible, but we’re using a subjective test i.e. our eyes and our hands to determine if it’s still on the pre cancer side of things or if it’s transitioned over into the cancer side of things. If we think it’s on the pre cancer side of things, we oftentimes will treat it with things like liquid nitrogen and we have a video about that so that you know what you’re getting into, and if we think it’s transitioned over into cancer, then we usually just jump right to a biopsy to make sure that what our eyes see is what the microscope sees and this is all very subjective. Now we’ve seen tens and thousands of lesions and we’re pretty darn good at being able to determine what’s pre cancer and what’s cancerous, but nothing’s perfect, and nothing in any area of life is better than does it stand the test of time. In other words, if we think it’s a pre cancer and we freeze it and it goes away, chances are it was a pre cancer, but if we think it’s a pre cancer and we freeze it and it’s still present four to six weeks later, then we might have made the wrong diagnosis, and you need to come back in to talk to us because it might just need another freeze. Maybe we weren’t mean enough to you, or it might now need to be considered as a cancer. Your local dermatologist is here to help you. So please, make sure you’re looking at things because anything that’s treated in any aspect of medicine that doesn’t behave like it should needs to be re-evaluated.

Because Dermatologists treat more than just skin cancer!

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