Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the Unites States. There are more than one million cases reported annually.
Risk Factors for Skin Cancer:
Complexion: People with light-colored skin, hair, and eyes are at higher risk for developing a melanoma.
Genetics: Having a family history of melanoma increases the risk of developing this cancer.
Age: Non-melanoma skin cancers are more common after age 40.
Sun Exposure and Sunburn
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Most skin cancers occur on areas of the skin that are regularly exposed to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation. This is considered the primary cause of all skin cancers. It is important to understand that anyone can develop skin cancer, including young, healthy people and people with dark skin, hair, and eyes. Skin cancer including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma can appear in many different ways from shiny and waxy to scaly and rough or firm, red, crusty and bleeding. Also, any skin growth that bleeds or will not heal may be a sign of skin cancer.
The ABCDs of Melanoma
Everyone should be familiar with the following signs of malignant melanoma:
Asymmetry: Of the abnormal area of skin, one half is different than the other half
Color: Varies in shades of tan, brown, or black (can also vary in shades of white, red, and blue)
Diameter: Usually (but not always) larger than 6mm, which is about the diameter of a pencil eraser
Skin Cancer Treatment
Patient with Melonoma
At Dr. Josiane Lederman’s Dermatology Associates, we use the most advanced treatments to manage skin cancer.We continuously receive referrals from other dermatologists and surgeons, putting us at the top of the region’s prominent skin cancer treatment centers.
Minimize Your Risk
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Limiting your sun exposure is the best way to prevent skin damage, including many types of skin cancer. Use the following guidelines to help minimize your risk.
- Protect your skin from the sun by wearing protective clothing such as hats, long-sleeved shirts, and long skirts or pants.
- Avoid exposure during midday when the sun is most intense.
- Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen at least one-half hour before sun exposure and reapply every 2-3 hours or more often if you are sweating excessively or have been swimming.
- Apply sunscreen throughout the year, even during the winter.
Knowing your own body, including your skin, is the best way to detect when something is amiss. Use a mirror or have someone help you look on your back, shoulders, and other hard-to-see areas. Any suspicious mole, sore, or skin growth should be looked at by a physician immediately. Any changes in a mole or any sudden growth on the skin should be taken seriously.