Skin Cancer

Dermatologist Screenings In Delray Beach

As the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US, more people each year are told they have skin cancer than are diagnosed with all other cancers combined. It’s a startling statistic – one that should encourage everyone to take skin cancer prevention seriously. That’s because skin cancer is also one of the most preventable cancers.

Skin cancer, or abnormal growths on the skin, typically develops in areas exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or tanning beds. It occurs after years of cumulative exposure, or after severe, blistering sunburns during childhood or adolescence. Less common causes of skin cancer include repeated exposure to X-rays, certain workplace chemicals, or the presence of scar tissue.

Anyone can get skin cancer, including people of all races and colors, although those with lighter skin have a higher risk of developing skin cancer.

Types of Skin Cancer

The most common types of skin cancer are:

Actinic Keratoses (AK)
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
Melanoma


Melamoma

Less common but far more serious than either basal or squamous skin cancers, melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer. A person’s risk of developing melanoma increases with age, although young adults may be particularly susceptible to melanoma after intense, blistering sunburns.

In about half of all cases of melanoma, it arises within an existing mole, which is why special attention is paid to moles during skin screenings.

The following ABCDE warning signs of melanoma are an easy way to remember what to look for when performing a self-check of moles on your body:

A = Asymmetry

B = Border irregularity

C = Color variations

D = Diameter of 6mm or larger (the size of a pencil eraser)

E = Evolving appearance

Diagnosis and Treatment of Skin Cancer

Skin screenings are the primary way skin cancers are identified and diagnosed. Early detection of skin cancer requires a dermatologist to visually examine the skin for abnormalities such as moles that are asymmetrical, have irregular borders, contain a variety colors, or are large in size. Biopsies are usually taken during the screening to test for cancer.

If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, excising the cancerous growth is usually the first line of treatment. This can be done in a number of ways, including via surgical knife, burning (cauterization), freezing (cryotherapy), dermabrasion, photodynamic therapy (PDT), or tissue scraping followed by killing any remaining cancer cells with an electric needle (called curettage and electrodesiccation). Additional treatment approaches may include prescription creams, traditional radiation, and/or chemotherapy. We can provide a referral should you require Mohs surgery.

The method chosen to remove the skin cancer will depend on the type, size, and location of your skin cancer.

Preventing Skin Cancer

Skin cancer prevention typically revolves around minimizing your exposure to harmful UV rays and includes actions such as:

  • Wearing protective clothing such as hats, sunglasses, and light long-sleeved shirts when in the sun
  • Using broad-spectrum sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher and reapplying when appropriate
  • Avoiding being in the sun between 10 am – 2 pm, when the sun’s rays are the strongest
  • Avoiding tanning beds
  • Seeing a dermatologist if you notice skin irregularities
  • Having regular preventive skin screenings

Many people believe the natural glow of a tan indicates good health when, really, the opposite is true: tanned skin is evidence that your skin is damaged. Consult your dermatologist for safe, topical alternatives for a healthy, tanned appearance.

Make an Appointment for a Full Body Skin Screening for Skin Cancer

Find out what your risk of skin cancer is by making an appointment to see Dr. Yvette Tivoli at Atlantic Derm for a full-body skin screening. Call (561) 802-SKIN (7546) or use our convenient online form to request a consultation.

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