It is important to keep a close eye on your skin for signs of skin cancer, as it is the most common type of cancer. Skin cancer occurs when skin cells grow abnormally. While skin cancer can occur in individuals of all races, it is more prevalent in those with fair complexions who sunburn easily.
There are three common types of skin cancer that are known as melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. There are other types of skin cancers that are more uncommon that include Merkel cell carcinoma and actinic keratosis.
This is the most deadly form of skin cancer. It is more likely to spread to other areas of the body and typically starts as a small mole or dark spot. With this type of cancer, early diagnosis and treatment are vital. The ABCDEs of melanoma can help you know if a mole should be examined by a doctor.
If one side of the mole has a different symmetry than the other, it should be examined immediately.
When the border of a mole has an irregular shape, it is a sign of melanoma.
Moles that are melanomas typically vary in color. The colors are usually black, brown, or red.
Although they can be smaller, most moles that are melanomas are larger than 6mm in diameter.
A mole should be examined if it is changing in size, shape, or color.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
This cancer typically develops on areas that are frequently exposed to UV rays, and it is the most common variation of skin cancer. While basal cell carcinoma isn’t as dangerous as melanoma, early detection and treatment are crucial because it can spread to other areas of the body, such as tissue and bone.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
This type of skin cancer is also commonly seen on areas of the body that are exposed to the sun, such as the head, legs, and neck. It is commonly seen in individuals who use tanning beds and can develop in younger individuals. Squamous cell carcinoma is easy to treat when it is detected early.
The Importance of Skin Exams
Because all types of skin cancer can develop rapidly, it is important to conduct self examinations regularly. In addition, it is also important to seek medical care if you notice any moles or skin lesions that are changing in color or size. This is the best way to protect yourself from the dangers of cancer.
If you think you may have a form of cancer on the skin, or if you would just like to get checked out, you can visit Atomic Dermatology to have your skin examined by a professional. We are conveniently located in Pasco, WA. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!