Skin cancer has become more prevalent as we are paying the price for sunbathing in our youth. There are three main types of skin cancer that we diagnose and treat.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma: This type typically presents on sun-exposed areas and can appear to be just a flat red scaly patch similar to eczema or a pearly papule that is flesh colored. Often they may bleed upon minimal irritation and are not itchy but this is not an absolute rule. Treatment may consist of surgical removal or use of imiquimod cream. Basal cell cancers are not known to metastasize to other body parts internally and thus are not as dangerous as melanoma. It is the most common type of cancer that we see in patients.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This type presents on sun-exposed areas and usually are pink and scaly. Most begin as an actinic keratosis (pre-cancerous lesion) which is why we do treat actinic keratosis early before they have a chance to turn into squamous cell cancers. Treatment consists of some type of surgical removal depending on the site and size of the cancer. It is the second most common type seen and can metastasize if advanced; particularly if found on the ears or lips.
- Melanoma: This type of cancer is the most dangerous since treatment is limited if it metastasizes thru the lymphatic system. It is linked to several different gene defects that can be passed thru family members though sun plays an important role in activating the cancer. Melanoma can be found on any body part; not just sun-exposed areas. Typically, they present as brown/black flat or raised moles that are irregular in color and asymmetrical. Any new moles should be examined by us or changes in your current moles.
Tanning beds lead to skin cancer and are not a "safe" way to tan.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Don’t get left out! Sign up now to receive periodic news and announcements with tips, discounts and events.