ABOUT Signs of Skin Cancer
Signs of Skin Cancer
Getting regular exams and checkups with your skin care professional is essential for preventing the development of skin concerns and maintaining optimal health. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, and can appear at any age due to increased sun exposure without taking the proper measures of protection. If you are experiencing skin irregularities that are causing you concern, be sure to schedule an appointment with your health care professional. In the meantime, there are ways to determine skin cancer symptoms.
What is Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer is caused as a result of unrepaired DNA damage to the skin cells. This results in the uncontrolled growth of skin cells that are abnormal. The rapid growth leads to the development of visible and abnormal growths on the skin that represent the specific cancer type. These growths are known as malignant tumors.
Symptoms of a non-melanoma skin cancer growth can include an irregular growth or sore on the surface of skin that will not go away. It may at first appear as a nodule, irregular patch, or rash. The growths are raised, and may even bleed easily. As the cells continue to multiply, the growth shape can change and the cancer can spread to deeper layers of tissue. If you are experiencing this, it is essential that you schedule an appointment with one of our medical professionals for evaluation.
Basal cell carcinomas on the head or neck, may initially look like a pale patch of skin that is a translucent looking bump. On the chest, it may appear as a brownish scar, or flesh-colored lesion. As the cancer cells multiply, it can begin to bleed and ooze.
Squamous cell carcinomas may develop in the form of a lump. The lump on the surface of skin is usually rough. If a lump does not appear, it may also take the appearance of a reddish scaly patch that does not go away.
How can skin cancer be prevented?
Unlike other forms of cancer, skin cancer has known causes. One of the most common causes of skin cancer is exposure to harsh ultraviolet rays (UV rays) when outsider under the sun. Skin cancer can also run down the line of one’s family history. To best prevent skin cancer, Dr. Greenberg and his team recommend:
- Avoiding extended periods of sun exposure, specifically during midday hours
- Wearing clothes that cover commonly exposed areas to sunlight including your arms and legs
- Applying sunscreen before spending time outdoors
If you have discovered an abnormality in your skin, Greenberg Cosmetic Surgery offers skin cancer screenings to best shed clarity and determine a course of action, if necessary.
What can be expected from a skin cancer screening?
During a skin cancer screening, your skin will be closely and carefully examined for possible signs of cancer such as basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and melanoma. Patients should expect to have not only typical areas examined such as the arms and legs, but other areas that may be exposed to sunlight including the ears, feet, scalp, neck, and more. For those who wear nail polish, we recommend removing it prior to your appointment since skin cancer can also develop within nails. The duration of your skin cancer screening will vary from others.
The most effective way to treat skin cancer is catching it in its early stages. If you discover a skin abnormality, take the first step in identifying and treating it by contacting us today to schedule your consultation.