Regular Skin Cancer Screenings Are Vital to Your Health

The skin is the largest organ in the human body, as well as the most visible. You can play an important role in checking your skin regularly to spot abnormal growth or potential skin cancer before they advance. Consistent self-examinations and talking to a medical professional can help reduce the risk and spread of cancer. Skin cancer accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the U.S. with more than one million cases of non-melanoma skin cancers diagnosed each year. Skin cancer is one of the most treatable cancers when it is detected and treated early. Skin conditions can also be symptoms of other health problems, such as viral and bacterial infections, neurological conditions and reactions to environmental factors.

What causes Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is caused by the reproduction of abnormal cells in the body, and it can spread to other parts of the body. The most common cause of skin cancer is when an individual is exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Every type of skin cancer can be traced back to UV rays from the sun. If you are regularly exposed to the sun and see a spot on your skin that looks irregular, it is crucial to call our offices to get a consultation from our experienced dermatologists today.

What are Treatment Options?

When it comes to treating skin cancer, it depends on the type of skin cancer, the location and the age of the individual. But there are a number of treatment options, including topical chemotherapy, radiation and cryotherapy, which freezes the cancer itself. There is also a surgery called Moh’s Micrographic Surgery, which removes the skin cancer with the least amount of damage to the surrounding tissue. It is important to talk to one of our dermatologists to find out your best treatment option.

Skin Cancer Q&A

Q: What is Actinic Keratosis (AK)?

A: It is a pre-cancer, and can be the first steps leading to Squamous Cell Carcinoma. AK is usually a scaly or crusty growth and most often appears on areas of the body frequently exposed to the sun.

Q: What is Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)?

A: BCC is the most common form of skin cancer. This type of skin cancer grows slowly but treatment is important because BCC can grow wide and deep, destroying skin tissue and bone.

Q: What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)?
A: SCC tends to develop on skin that has been exposed to the sun for years. SCC can spread to other parts of the body. With early diagnosis and treatment, SCC is highly curable.
Q: What is Melanoma?
A: It is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and often resembles moles. If melanoma is recognized and treated early, it is almost always curable. If it is not treated, it can advance and spread to other parts of the body and can be fatal.
Q: What are the signs and symptoms of skin cancer?

A: Skin cancer can be detected early. Both doctors and patients play important roles in finding skin cancer. Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms.

  • Any change on the skin, a new growth, or the size or color of a mole, bump or nodule has changed.
  • Scaliness, oozing, bleeding.
  • The spread of pigmentation beyond its border, such as dark coloring that spreads past the edge of a mole or mark.
  • A change is sensation, itchiness, tenderness or pain.