Skin Cancer awareness is a very important part of dermatology care. Skin cancer knows no age, race, sex or lifestyle. Despite certain behaviors leading to the likelihood of skin cancer, it can happen to anyone and everyone. Therefore, it is very important to understand Skin Cancer prevention as well as being aware of skin cancer screenings.
Skin cancer has become the most prevalent form of cancer in the United Stest and is mainly caused by UV radiation from the sun, as well as UV light from unnatural means, such as tanning beds. At Lebow Dermatology we offer Skin Cancer Screenings, and monitor suspicious growths or lesions on our patients.
Skin Growths and Lesions.
The skin is the largest organ on the body, and we must be careful to monitor it closely. Any day suspicious lesions and harmful moles, growths, or warts can pop up, without any warning signs. And it can be quite difficult or nearly impossible to tell the difference between benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) skin growths.
Abnormal cancerous cells are identified by 3 basic categories:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinomas are generally less severe forms of cancerous cells, and make up over 90% of all skin cancer diagnoses. They are causes by exposure to UV radiation of long periods of time. However, melanomas are the dangerous type and generally lead to close to 80% of all skin cancer fatalities in the US, as well as the world. These can be caused by a set of severe sunburns.
If these cancerous cells are left untreated, they can spread to other organs at a rapid pace and become far too difficult to contain. If you believe you may have any suspicious skin blemish, irritation, skin growth, lesion, mole or wart; it is best to get a cancer screening immediately. It can be the difference between life and death in many cases.
Biopsy and Early Detection
At Lebow Dermatology, if you have a suspicious mole or growth it must be tested immediately. During a skin biopsy we will use a scalpel or surgical knife to cut a cross section of the growth, and check it for cancer. If it is cancerous then treatment is needed as well as immediate removal of the growth.
Generally, all skin cancer is highly curable if detected and treated early. That’s why it is paramount to have your growths tested without hesitation, and schedule your next skin cancer screening immediately.
The most common warning signs involve new, suspicious growths or lesions. Patients should be weary of growth with the following characteristics.
- Assymetry: The growth is not even on both sides.
Border: Irregular, or indistinct border
Color: If the color is varied and inconsistent.
Dimension: Changes in size and dimensions.
Elevated patch of skin. If the patch is raised above the surrounding skin.