Skin cancer

Dr. Steven Rueda is one of the most sought after skin cancer doctors in Palm Beach. Skin cancer is very common in Florida as a consequence of the frequent sun exposure. Some of the most common areas affected include the face and the hands; these areas are frequently exposed to sun and also the least covered by clothing. However, skin cancer can occur in any area of the body. There are many types of skin cancer; the most common forms are basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer.

There is not a single unique cause to skin cancer, but genetic factors and sun exposure are considered contributing factors. Basal cell skin cancer or basal cell carcinoma, receives its name as it arises from the “basal cells” in the skin. On the other hand, squamous cell skin cancer of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, receives it name as it arises from “squamous cells” in the skin.

Skin cancer

The diagnosis is usually made after the patient presents to with a suspicious or abnormal appearing “mole” or “skin spot”. Biopsy of the suspicious lesion is the gold standard in diagnosing skin cancer.  Once the initial biopsy confirms the diagnosis the next step is staging the cancer and coming up with a treatment plan. Staging establishes how far the cancer has spread in the body. Fortunately, most skin cancers can be detected early with low risk of spreading to other areas in the body. Basal cell carcinoma is one of the types that tends to not metastasize or spread. Squamous cell carcinoma tends to be more aggressive than basal cell carcinoma and has a greater potential for spreading.

Typically presents as masses or irregularities in the skin. There are several symptoms that help distinguish benign from malignant skin lesions:

  • Pigmented Lesion
  • Asymmetry of the shape
  • Irregular Borders
  • Irregular color or changing colors within the lesion
  • Large Diameter
  • Changing appearance

Skin cancer Procedure

There are multiple treatment options for skin cancer (basal and squamous). In some cases these may be treated without surgery. However, a large amount of cases are treated with surgery. This involves removing the cancer with a border of healthy skin around it (called the “margin”). The amount of skin removed around the skin cancer depends on the depth of the tumor as identified in the biopsy. In patients with basal or squamous skin cancer, the margin removed is between 0.3-1cm. A technique called MOHS surgery is sometimes used in qualified patients to minimize the margin removed. Dr. Rueda works with some of the best MOHS surgeons in Palm Beach to help minimize the removal of unnecessary healthy skin.

After the tissue is removed the newly created wound needs to be repaired and this requires the assistance of a Plastic Surgeon specialized in skin cancer reconstruction. This reconstruction may be done borrowing tissue from areas nearby, called “flap” reconstructions. These techniques restore the patient’s appearance and function as best possible after removal of the cancer. Dr. Rueda specializes in reconstruction after skin cancer removal. He has extensive experience in reconstruction to help the patient’s achieve good cancer control, cosmetic appearance, and functional outcomes. Dr. Rueda partners with Dermatology specialists to provide comprehensive care to every patient.

Why Choose Precision Plastic Surgery for your Skin cancer Procedure?

Dr. Rueda, a Cleveland Clinic trained surgeon who has 7 years and 2,000 procedures of experience in Plastic Surgery will be your safe and best choice for skin cancer reconstruction. Successful results in this procedure requires a surgeon that is experienced and knowledgeable in removing the cancer and reconstructing the patient’s cosmetic appearance. Dr. Rueda has published on skin cancer in peer reviewed articles, and his work has been presented in several national conferences. Dr. Rueda’s passion for patient education and custom centered approach will guarantee you feel comfortable every step of the way. Dr. Rueda also believes in treating his patients as if he was treating his own family; you can trust you will enter a trusting and long-term relationship and have some of the best skin cancer reconstruction Palm Beach can offer.


Almost all patients are good candidates for skin cancer reconstruction. Specific patient factors may cause one option to be better than other. The focus of reconstruction is to re-establish function and cosmetic appearance.

This usually depends on the type of cancer, stage, depth, and other patient specific characteristics. Each decision is made on a case by case basis.

In some cases the cancer can return in the area it was present before surgery or treatment. This is also called “recurrence” of the cancer. Although the skin cancer is removed until the biopsy shows its clear on pathology, recurrence may still happen. For this reasons it is important that the patient continue to see the dermatologist and plastic surgeon who performed the reconstruction to make sure it is treated early if it returns.

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