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Skin cancer can occur when there is abnormal growth of cells on the skin. It is a relatively common skin condition and typically develops in areas that are exposed to sunlight and/or UV rays. Skin cancer can also develop in areas that aren’t typically exposed to the sun.
Skin Cancer Symptoms
It is important to regularly examine your skin in order to notice any changes that may be occuring. When examining your skin, you should look for the following symptoms, which are often referred to as the acronym ABCDE:
- Asymmetry: The mole or lesion has two uneven halves
- Border: Jagged, uneven border
- Color: White, red, pink, or blue-colored moles or lesions
- Diameter: The size of a pencil eraser or larger than ¼ inch
- Evolving: The mole or lesion changes color, shape, or size
Skin Cancer Types
There are three main types of skin cancer:
- Basal cell carcinoma: This type of skin cancer is the most common and makes up about 90% of skin cancer cases. Typically, basal cell carcinoma is a slow-growing lesion that grows on the head or neck and is marked by a waxy, raised, pink mole.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: Unlike basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma can spread to other parts of the body if it is left untreated. It is usually characterized by rough, red, scaly lesions on areas of the skin that are exposed to sunlight. It can appear on the ears, hands, neck, and lips.
- Melanoma: Although it is less common than both squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. It is typically marked by moles with uneven borders, inconsistent color, evolving shape or size, and an asymmetrical shape.
How Is Skin Cancer Treated?
There are a variety of ways to treat skin cancer depending on the type and stage of the cancer, including:
- Mohs surgery
- Excisional surgery
- Photodynamic Therapy
Who Is at Risk for Skin Cancer?
You may be at risk for skin cancer if you:
- Have a family history of skin cancer
- Get or have had exposure to tanning beds or UV rays
- Have a history of severe sunburns
- Work outside
- Have naturally pale skin
- Have skin that freckles easily
- Have blonde or red hair and/or blue or green eyes
- Have a weakened immune system
The aforementioned factors are some of the most common risk factors when it comes to skin cancer. If you have questions or concerns about any of these, be sure to ask either Dr. Stephen Smith or Dr. Scott Smith during your consultation.
Cost of Treating Skin Cancer
The cost of treating skin cancer will vary from patient to patient depending on the type of treatment method used, how much tissue is removed, and other individual factors.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you are interested in getting a skin cancer screening and would like to know more information about skin cancer, contact the office of Dr. Stephen Smith and Dr. Scott Smith for a consultation today. Our friendly staff will be happy to set you up with a consultation and will answer any questions you may have about skin cancer.