About 1 in 5 Americans develop skin cancer at some point in their lifetime. At The Dermatology Center of Worcester, the dedicated team stands ready to help with all types of skin cancer. Skin cancers that are dianosed in the earliest stages are usually easiest to treat so why wait to schedule your exam? Call the office or book an appointment online now.
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Skin cancer is a group of cancers that happen when cells in the outermost skin layer start multiplying, forming tumors. The main causes of skin cancer are ultraviolet (UV) ray exposure from the sun or indoor tanning beds.
While skin cancer is highly dangerous, it’s a treatable condition when caught early or detected at the precancerous stage.
There are many specific types of skin cancer, but it’s generally categorized into:
Nonmelanoma cancers include basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Both are slow-growing. Basal cell carcinoma rarely spreads, but squamous cell carcinomas can spread, moving into the lymph nodes and your internal organs. Both of these nonmelanoma cancers are extremely treatable if caught early.
Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, and it grows rapidly. Only 1% of skin cancers are melanomas, but melanoma causes most skin cancer deaths. Early detection is especially important with melanoma since it’s so aggressive.
Both nonmelanoma and melanoma cancers require treatment, so you need to know the symptoms to watch for.
Skin cancer looks different depending on what type of skin cancer you have. Thinking of the ABCDE rule tells you what signs to watch for:
Every type of skin cancer has unique warning signs, but some general issues to watch for include:
Because skin cancer signs can sometimes be fairly subtle, it’s important to really get to know your skin. Perform regular skin checks at home, from head to toe, making special note of any obvious changes.
You should also schedule an annual skin cancer screening at The Dermatology Center of Worcester.
A skin cancer screening can help identify skin cancer in its earliest stages while it’s easiest to treat. To detect and diagnose skin cancer, a dermatologist checks the skin over your entire body. They also asks questions about your past health and possible skin cancer symptoms you may have noticed, like a skin lesion that burns or itches without improvement.
The dermatologist will examine your body for any atypical (unusual) moles or other changes in your skin. Some doctors may make what’s called a “mole map” to identify potentially cancerous moles and see if their appearance changes from year to year. Your doctor will also ask you questions about when your skin or mole appearance changes started, whether you have any family history of skin cancer and if you’ve had exposure to certain chemicals or substances.
To schedule your annual screening, call The Dermatology Center of Worcester or click the online booking link today.
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