Skin Cancer and Melanoma Skin Removal

Boise - Caldwell

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. Each year, an estimated 1 in 5 Americans develop skin cancer before the age of 70. When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99%. Most non-melanoma types of skin cancer can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Skin cancer is staged according to how far it has spread.

Skin Cancer and Melanoma | General Surgery

What is Skin Cancer and Melanoma? What Are the Different Types?

At its most basic, skin cancer can be defined as an abnormal growth of skin cells. Most skin cancers develop on skin exposed to the sun, but skin cancers can occur anywhere on the body. Skin cancer affects people with every skin tone, and it does not discriminate between men and women. The three most common skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It usually appears on sun-exposed areas of the body, such as the face and neck. It is the most curable form of skin cancer, and the damage can be minimal when it is caught early. Basal cell carcinoma tends to grow slowly and starts in the top layer of the skin. Although basal cell carcinoma rarely spreads beyond the original tumor site, this cancer can become dangerous if the lesions are left untreated.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. Squamous cells are the flat cells found in the top layer of the skin. Squamous cell carcinoma can occur anywhere on the body. If squamous cell carcinoma goes untreated, it can become invasive and grow deeper into the various layers of skin and eventually spread to other parts of the body.


Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. It is far less common than either basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas. If left untreated, melanoma can rapidly spread to other organs in the body. When melanoma is detected early, it is usually curable. Melanoma can grow from an existing mole or form a new lesion on the skin that appears to be normal. It is most found on the torso and legs.

Skin Cancer and Melanoma | General Surgery

What Treatment is Recommended for Skin Cancer and Melanoma?

When skin cancer and melanoma are detected, the only treatment option is the removal of the abnormal cells. This can be accomplished through a variety of different types of skin cancer removal surgical techniques. If the cancer is larger or has spread, radiation therapy or chemotherapy can become a treatment option.

What Happens During Skin Cancer and Melanoma Skin Removal Surgery?

Surgical treatment for skin cancer and melanoma depends on the size of the lesion. Most small skin cancers are removed at the biopsy stage. Other forms of skin cancer treatment are:

  • Freezing - Using liquid nitrogen, the doctor will freeze the lesion. Once the skin thaws, the dead tissue is easily removed.
  • Excisional surgery - The doctor removes the cancerous tissue and some healthy skin surrounding it by either cutting it out or shaving it off.
  • Mohs surgery - When the skin cancer is more significant, the doctor removes the skin growth layer by layer. He then examines each layer under a microscope until no abnormal cells remain.
  • Curettage and electrodesiccation - After removing most of the growth, the doctor scrapes away layers of cancer cells with a device known as a curet. He then uses an electric needle to destroy any remaining cancer cells. He may also use liquid nitrogen to freeze the edges of the treated area.
  • Laser surgery - The doctor uses a laser beam to destroy the cancer cells.
  • Lymph node biopsy and removal - In the case of melanoma, a lymph node biopsy is often necessary. Lymph nodes are notorious for receiving fluid draining from a tumor. If melanoma cells are discovered in the lymph nodes during the biopsy, lymph nodes in the surrounding area are typically removed.

What is the Recovery Like for Skin Cancer and Melanoma Skin Removal?

Your side effects and recovery time will depend on how extensive your procedure was. Even the most minimally invasive surgery can produce side effects. Typical side effects from skin cancer surgery include:

  • Pain
  • Scarring
  • Bruising or swelling
  • Numbness or other nerve damage
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Fatigue
  • Lymphedema

Why Choose Dr. Daniel Gay for This Procedure?

Dr. Daniel Gay is a board-certified general surgeon in the Treasure Valley area encompassing Boise, Meridian, and Caldwell, Idaho. Dr. Gay has vast experience with skin cancers and believes in treating his patients how he would want to be treated himself. His focus is on educating his patients and providing the individualized attention that each patient deserves. If you need to schedule an appointment or would like more information about skin cancer and melanoma, contact us today.

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We Accept All Major Insurance Carriers:

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Patient Testimonials

Jessy Davenport
I’m leaving this review on behalf of my mother, Novella (as she isn’t tech savvy). Here’s what she had to say: From the moment you walk in the door, you’re treated so kindly. The front desk staff knew me by name and would joke and interact with me every time I came in. Dr. Gay is phenomenal. He’s patient and explains well. I had to have surgery to remove a cyst and even the surgery center, Treasure Valley Hospital, experience was great. Not something people typically say but it was a pleasant surgery experience. I highly recommend!
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Danny Cruz
DR.Daniel Gay was wonderful to work with after being referred to by my primary doctor from Pionner family medical DR.Ludwig. DR.Gay's personal office assistant was very informative with the steps I would be taking moving forward. My personal experience was great throughout my whole process.
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Gina Wooddall
Daniel Gay one of the Best caring Hernia doctors. Awesome Doctor I had surgery Jan 8, 2024 he did such a amazing job so blessed to have him as my surgeon highly recommended Dr Daniel Gay the nurse staff Sara and Kim absolutely amazing to work with. I'm very pleased with the outcome. Daniel is so Kind and Very Respectful and cares deeply about his patients
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Matthew Tracy
This surgeon needs protected at all costs! I needed emergency surgery on a Friday. Dr. Gay stayed late to perform the operation. I'll never forget his kindness and the respect he showed to a stranger in dire need. A rare breed indeed. Good men are hard to find. Thank you so much Dr. Gay!
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chrystal Bourff
Greatest ever! Wonderful as fast and caring as Dr Gay was. He and all of his staff treated me with kindness and compassion. I have never been as happy to call him my Doctor!
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I just had the best hospital visit ever for a procedure. I had a large lipoma removed and had to go under general anesthesia for its removal because of its size and location. All of the staff at Capital Surgical Associates and Treasure Valley Hospital were the most courteous and pleasant health professionals I've dealt with. Dr. Gay was helpful in laying out what was going to be done while the recovery was extremely easy. The follow-up visit with him was helpful in explaining what had happened and what I needed to do going forward. I cannot imagine a better experience.
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brett pendleton
Dr. Gay was great! I always saw him on my visit and not another provider. I had a lipoma on my back and it was one of the smoothest, easiest surgeries I've had. He's easy to talk to and his office staff are funny and to the point. You can tell he genuinely cares about his patients. Thanks Dr. Gay and staff!
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Luke Folke
Dr. Gay did a great job on an inguinal hernia surgery for me a few weeks ago. I really appreciate his practical but caring approach, his respectful manner and his professionalism! His assistant Sarah is awesome! She worked really hard to keep the ball rolling for us and we are truly thankful for her diligence in getting me in, and communicating thoroughly through the whole thing! I am also grateful for the team at Treasure Valley Hospital and the great care I was given during my surgery! Thanks so much! -Luke Folke
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Dr. Daniel Gay, Member of the Independent Doctors of Idaho