Skin cancer is now the most common type of cancer in the United States. According to a recent survey, “one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime; but if it is diagnosed in the early stages, it has a cure rate of nearly 100%”. There are three main types of skin cancer: Basal cell carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma and Melanoma. The first two are less serious and together are known as non-melanoma skin cancers. These make up approximately 95% of all cases. Let’s discuss these cancers individually.
Basal Cell Carcinoma – This type appears as a small, shiny, fleshy growth or spots on the exposed parts of the body such as ears and neck. It can also appear as a flat, pink, red or brown lesion on the trunk or arms and legs. It grows slowly and don’t spread to other parts of the body. However, if left untreated, it can severely damage skin around and below it.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma – This type develops on the face, ears, lips and mouth, beginning as a red, scaly patch. When left untreated, it can spread to other areas of the body.
Melanoma – The most dangerous form of skin cancer and appears as a dark brown or black lump with irregular edges. It also appears multicolored with shades of red, blue or white, and when left untreated, melanoma can spread to other areas, which can be fatal.
The first two types of cancers are caused due to cumulative exposure to sun, whereas episodes of severe sunburns, usually before age 18, can cause melanoma later in life.
Diagnosis of Skin Cancer
The only way that skin cancer can be confirmed or diagnosed is by performing a biopsy. Biopsy involves cutting a small sample of the affected area, which is placed under a microscope and examined by a dermatologist. Skin cancer Treatment in Teaneck NJ for the cancer will be determined by the information gathered from biopsy and the type of cancer, its size and location, and the patient’s preference.
Standard treatments for non-melanoma skin cancer (Basal and Squamous cell carcinoma) include freezing or laser surgery. Melanoma skin cancer treatment includes a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
If you think you’re suffering from any of the above skin cancer, consult your cosmetic dermatologist and take the necessary treatment, and for those who want to be away from skin cancers follow the below tips:
– Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher 30 minutes before you go out in the sun.
– Try to avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible during peak UV radiation hours, which are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
– Perform self-exams regularly to become familiar with existing moles, spots and freckles and notice any changes or new growth.
As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure”, follow these little points and be safe from sun’s harmful radiations.