Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells. There are three major types of skin cancer - basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, which is the most serious type of skin cancer. These three types of skin cancer are on the rise, however most skin cancers can be prevented by limiting or avoiding exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and by paying attention to suspicious changes in your skin.
It is important to know that with early detection, a person with skin cancer can receive successful treatment for most skin cancers, even the most aggressive forms.
Skin cancer management involves the screening, surveillance, treatment and follow-up medical care for patients with skin cancer.
Treatment for skin cancer and the precancerous skin lesions varies, depending on the size, type, depth and location of the lesions. Often the abnormal cells are surgically removed or destroyed with cryotherapy, electrocautery or topical medications. Most skin cancer treatments require only a local anesthetic and can be done in an outpatient setting. Sometimes no treatment is necessary beyond an initial biopsy that removes the entire growth.
Early detection of cancerous change in pre-existing or new moles and the early removal of malignant melanoma can reduce cancer morbidity and mortality. The primary preventive strategies of skin cancer is skin cancer education and sun protection. Screening and periodic surveillance of precancerous and cancerous skin lesions serves as secondary prevention.
Not all skin changes are cancerous and the only way to be certain is to have your skin examined by a dermatologist. If you notice any suspicious growth or change of the growth on your skin, contact us for a consultation with our team of dermatologists. As with most cancers, early detection increases the chances of successful treatment.