In honor of skin cancer awareness month, we continue to educate and inform you about the causes, types, and treatments of this disease. Skin cancer, which is the abnormal growth of skin cells, is usually caused by skin overly exposed to the sun but there are some exceptions. There are three types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma, with the latter being the less common but more likely to grow and spread.
Risks and Preventions of Skin Cancer
The most common risk of melanoma is exposure to ultraviolet rays which come from the sun, tanning beds and sun lamps. Another risk is moles which are larger than other moles and usually have an abnormal shape or color with some features of melanoma. People with fair skin, freckling, and light hair are at an increased risk of melanoma. There is no way to prevent melanoma skin cancer because risk factors such as age, gender, race and family history can't be controlled. The most important thing anyone can do is to limit your exposure to ultraviolet rays and watch out for abnormal moles.
Symptoms of Skin Cancer
Early signs of melanoma are usually symptoms of a change in an existing mole or the development of an unusual-looking growth on the skin. To help detect characteristics of an unusual mole, think of the letters ABCDE:
A is for asymmetrical shape such as two very different halves. B is for irregular borders. C is for changes in color or an uneven distribution of color. D is for diameter larger than 1/4 inch. E is for evolving over time.
Melanoma skin cancer is diagnosed by skin biopsy. A tissue sample will be examined under a microscope to complete the diagnosis. If tumor cells are present, treatment is required.
Treatments Options for Skin Cancer
Your treatment options will vary based on the stage of cancer and other factors that affect your treatment. Seeking treatment early on is very important because if the mole is left untreated, it will eventually penetrate the underlying tissues and can become disfiguring. Treatment is typically an outpatient procedure in a physician's office or at a clinic.
Surgery is the main treatment option for melanomas and usually cures early-stage melanomas. This procedure involves anesthesia and a small incision to remove the tumor.
Our surgery services include:
Skin Cancer Excision
An option for patients for whom surgery is not advised or who have tumors that are hard to treat surgically is radiation therapy. Removal of the tumor will require a series of treatments several times a week and sometimes months.
If you find anything that concerns you, contact Miami Skin Dr. Early detection of melanoma or skin cancer, in general, is key to being free of the tumor. Check out Miami Skin Dr to find out more.