Skin Cancer and Skin Screening

Skin Cancer and Skin Screening services offered in Boise and Fruitland, ID

Skin Cancer and Skin Screening

Skin cancers come in several forms, all requiring expert diagnosis and treatment. The experienced dermatology providers at Idaho Skin Surgery Center (ISSC) offer patient-centered, evidence-based treatment for skin cancer and skin screenings. With offices in Fruitland and Boise, Idaho, we offer treatments that eliminate cancerous cells while keeping scarring to a minimum. To benefit from the ISSC team’s expertise, call the office nearest you or request an appointment online today.

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer is an extremely common form of cancer in which cells in one of your skin layers start to multiply uncontrollably. The team at ISSC offers skin cancer screenings. If they diagnose skin cancer during your screening, you might require medical and/or surgical treatment. In most cases, surgery is the most effective solution. The main types of skin cancer are:

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

BCC is the most common type of skin cancer. These cancers develop in the basal cells, part of the deepest layer of your epidermis (outer skin).

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

SCC occurs less often than BCC but tend to grow faster are maybe more serious. They develop in skin cells called keratinocytes in your epidermis.


Melanomas affect the melanocyte cells that produce melanin, which gives your skin its color. When compared to BCC and SCC, they are the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

The team at ISSC offers skin cancer screenings. If they diagnose skin cancer during your screening, you might require medical and/or surgical treatment. In most cases, surgery is the most effective solution.

Why do I need skin screenings?

It’s important to get professional skin cancer screenings from the team at ISSC regardless of whether or not you’ve noticed an unusual blemish. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, so checking yourself regularly helps ensure that you will catch cancerous spots in their early stages. 

When it comes to any type of cancer, starting treatment at an early stage gives you the best chance at remission. Skin cancer screenings ensure that you’re ahead of the curve with your skin’s health, especially if any risk factors apply to you.

When should I come in for a skin screening?

Your dermatology provider will counsel with you as to how often you should come to ISSC for screenings, depending on your risk factors. It’s also good practice to check your own skin to the best of your ability about once per month and report anything unusual to your dermatologist. 

It may help you to become familiar with the pattern of your own moles and freckles, including those in awkward places like in your armpit or underneath your breast.

What kind of surgery might skin cancer require?

The type of surgery your ISSC provider uses for skin cancer depends on the type of cancer, its location, and its size. Options include:


Excision involves numbing your skin with a local anesthetic and cutting out the skin cancer. Your provider also removes some of the surrounding skin, referred to as the "margin". Excisions are a common form of skin cancer surgery, but it is most commonly done where there is enough extra adjacent skin such as the trunk or extremities.

Electrodesiccation and curettage (ED&C)

ED&C uses a long, slim instrument (curette) with a sharp, looped edge. Since some skin cancer types are superficial,  your ISSC provider is able to draw the curette over the cancer to remove it, then applies an electrode to kill the remaining cancer cells.

Mohs Micrographic Surgery (MMS)

MMS uses advanced techniques to remove cancerous tissue while minimizing the removal of healthy skin. It’s valuable because Mohs surgery causes minimal scarring in addition to being highly effective in treating skin cancer.

Your fellowship-trained trained and board-certified Mohs surgeon removes thin layers of skin and examines each under a microscope before taking another layer, if necessary. Microscopic examination of each layer ensures that your surgeon only takes cancerous tissue.

What other skin cancer treatment might I need?

Depending on the type and location of your skin cancer, medications like creams or pills can also be used, sometimes on their own or in conjunciton with surgical options. Some common medications are:

  • fluorouracil
  • imiquimod
  • vismodegib

Dermatologists often use topical medications (creams, lotions) to treat actinic keratosis — an abnormal patch of skin that could develop into cancer. Thin, low-risk BCC or SCC may also benefit from fluorouracil or imiquimod.

To learn more about Idaho Skin Surgery Center’s exceptional skin screenings and skin cancer treatments, call their office or schedule a consultation online today.