Posts for tag: Skin Cancer
Worried about that mole? Everyone is at risk of skin cancer and should keep an eye on their skin and moles. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. If it is detected early, it is more easily treatable. Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates, which is located in Wellesley Hills, MA, offers skin cancer screening and diagnostic services to their patients. Read on to find out when and how you should check yourself for moles.
What is Skin Cancer?
When cancer starts in the skin, it's called skin cancer. There are three major types of skin cancer: squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. The main cause of skin cancer is overexposure to Ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This is produced by the sun, but it can also come from other sources, such as indoor tanning beds. Other factors may also contribute to your risk of skin cancer, such as having a medical condition that weakens your immune system or being exposed to toxic substances.
When Should I Look for Moles?
Skin cancer can arise at any age but most commonly occurs after puberty. Although the average age of diagnosis is 52, skin cancer is the second most common cancer in individuals aged 15-29. Making a habit of examining your skin on a regular basis will help detect any abnormal growths. Doctors recommend that you conduct a self-exam every month, looking for any new spots and changes to the existing freckles or moles.
How Do I Check Myself for Moles?
Make sure you check your entire body as skin cancers can occur in parts of the body not exposed to the sun. Use a mirror to check areas that are hard to see. When checking your skin, remember to examine the front and back of your body, then right and left with your arms up. Inspect your neck, back, and arms, and look at the backs of your legs and feet as well as in-between your toes and your soles.
When is a Mole Not Just a Mole?
Most benign moles are often a single shade of brown. Melanoma may become red, white or blue or have a number of shades of brown. Benign skin moles have a smooth and even border unlike cancerous moles. The borders of melanoma tend to be uneven and the edges are scalloped or notched. If you have skin moles that have been with you for decades without change, that's usually a sign that you don't need to worry about them. Additionally, if you have moles that look similar to one another, then they are probably benign.
What is a Skin Cancer Screening?
You should have a skin cancer screening every year. During a skin cancer screening, your dermatologist will inspect your skin, head-to-toe, for any potential warning signs. No blood work is conducted at a skin cancer screening. If your doctor sees a suspicious area, he or she will take a biopsy and send it to a pathologist. The pathologist will use a microscope to examine the skin tissue and determine whether it's cancerous or not. Your doctor will talk to you about the results.
Skin cancer can be serious, expensive, and sometimes even deadly. Take charge of your health today! If you need a mole check, call Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates at 781-237-3500 now to schedule your annual skin cancer screening in Wellesley Hills, MA. A skin cancer screening could save your life!
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer among adults in the U.S. In fact, approximately one in five adult Americans will develop skin cancer. Taking precautions when in the sun and watching for changes in your skin can help you prevent skin cancer or detect it early if it does develop. Early detection is important for improving your odds of successful treatment. At Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates, Dr. Michael Goldaber, Dr. Elaine Kaye and Dr. David Aghassi are your doctors for treatment of skin cancer in Wellesley Hills, MA.
Types of Skin Cancer
The two most common types of skin cancer are squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. Both can develop after years of sun exposure and sun-damage. While the least common type of cancer, melanoma is the most lethal and is responsible for more skin cancer related deaths than any other type of skin cancer in the U.S. Melanoma can develop after extensive exposure to ultraviolet rays via tanning in the sun or a tanning bed.
Early detection of any of these types of skin cancer increases the odds of beating the cancer. Regularly checking your skin for changes, such as the development of new moles or changes in the shape or color of existing ones, helps with early detection. If you do notice any changes, be sure to see a dermatologist right away. The dermatologist can perform a biopsy to determine if cancer is present and recommend the appropriate course of treatment if it is.
Skin Cancer Treatments
The treatment methods used will depend on the type of skin cancer you have, as well as whether the cancer is in the early or late stages of development. For treatment of skin cancer in Wellesley Hills the dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates will diagnose the specific type of skin cancer you have and assess your situation. Skin cancer treatment can include any of the following methods:
- Curettage and desiccation, which involves scraping out the tumor and applying an electric current to kill off any lingering cancer cells.
- Surgical excision in which the tumor is surgically removed from the skin.
- Radiation therapy, in which radiation directly at the affected area to kill cancer skills.
- Cryosurgery, in which the tumor is frozen off using liquid nitrogen.
- Mohs micrographic surgery, which involves mapping of the affected skin tissue to minimize removal of healthy skin tissue.
- Prescription medicated creams, which are topically applied to the skin and help stimulate the body’s immune system to target cancer cells.
Early detection of skin cancer gives you the best chance of successfully eliminating the cancer before it spreads and leads to other health problems. There are a variety of treatments for skin cancer in Wellesley Hills, CA. If you notice any unusual changes in your skin, such as new spots or changes in the shape of existing moles, contact Dr. Goldaber, Dr. Kaye or Dr. Aghassi by calling Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates at (781) 237-3500.
According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. Although people with fair hair and skin are at the greatest risk, everyone is susceptible to skin cancer regardless of ethnicity, race or skin color. As with all forms of cancer, knowing the warning signs and risk factors, practicing prevention, and early diagnosis and treatment are key. The dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates in Wellesley Hills, MA, recommend regular skin cancer screenings, and active monitoring of moles and freckles for potential changes in color, size and texture.
Skin Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Wellesley Hills, MA
Most people are probably familiar with melanoma, which is the rarest form of skin cancer, but accounts for the majority of fatalities, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. The most common form is basal cell carcinoma, which affects the outer layer of the skin. The second most common type of skin cancer is squamous cell carcinoma, which affects the upper layer of the epidermis.
Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer
Many people of all races and skin tones have freckles and moles across various parts of the body, the majority of which are benign. But it is important to be aware of any changes to existing freckles or moles, or to new growths, as they can be a sign that a mole is malignant (cancerous). Dermatologists recommend the ABCDE method of early detection, which consists of checking moles and freckles or beauty marks for the following characteristics:
- A - Asymmetry (the two halves of the mole are not uniform/consistent in size
- B - Borders (jagged, scalloped, uneven edges)
- C - Color (appear to have more than one color)
- D - Diameter (larger diameter of 1/4 inch or more)
- E - Evolving (mole appears to grow and change over time)
Find a Dermatologist in Wellesley Hills, MA
Knowing your risk and protecting your skin from overexposure to UV rays is the best defense against skin cancer, along with regular screenings. For more information, contact Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates by calling (781) 237-3500 to schedule an appointment for a skin cancer screening today.
Should I Be Worried about My Moles? What you need to know about moles.
Your body has many different kinds of cells, including skin cells called melanocytes. They produce melanin which determines your skin color. Sometimes melanocytes can form clumps, which produce a mole. It is normal to have between 10 and 40 moles of different textures and colors on your body, but their size is usually limited to less than 6 millimeters in diameter. You shouldn’t worry about these normal moles.
Your dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts want you to know about when moles can be a sign of something more serious, like skin cancer. Moles can be an early sign of skin cancers like melanoma, and melanoma can be deadly.
Your dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates want you to do a preventive self-examination periodically to check for skin cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several signs of an abnormality to look for, including:
- AAn asymmetrical shape
- BAn irregular border
- CA change in color
- DA diameter larger than 6 millimeters
- EA change in shape, color, size or height
Your dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates want you to come in for a consultation if your mole is:
- Demonstrating any of the signs listed above
- Painful, itching or burning
- Oozing or bleeding
- Growing back after it was removed previously
- A new growth and you are over 30 years old
Many types of skin cancer can look like a mole or another type of skin growth. Basal cell carcinoma can look like a mole with a pearly edge. Squamous cell carcinoma can look like a scaly patch on your skin. Melanoma can look like a black or dark brown mole on your skin. Skin cancer doesn’t always look the same. That’s why it’s so important to seek out the help of a professional if you are worried about your skin. Your dermatologists can biopsy your moles to determine if you have skin cancer.
If you are worried about your moles and think you might have something more serious going on. Stop worrying and take some action! Call and make an appointment with your dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts. Don’t wait; your health may depend on it so call today!
Arm yourself with the proper protection to prevent skin cancer from happening to you.
Skin care isn’t just about washing with the right cleanser and making sure to moisturize daily. There are also some other factors you need to consider when it comes to caring for your skin. Skin cancer affects millions of Americans every year and can have some serious and life-threatening complications. From the office of your Wellesley Hills dermatologists, find out what you can do to keep skin cancer at bay.
One of the surefire ways to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun is to wear sunscreen that protects against both UVA/UVB rays and has an SPF of 15 or higher. If you plan to be outside for long periods of time, opt for water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Be sure to reapply sunscreen every three hours or after swimming or sweating.
Wear protective clothing
Before going outside take a minute to examine the clothes you are wearing to make sure that they will provide enough protection. Choose synthetic fibers like polyester or nylon over cotton or shiny semi-synthetic fabrics (e.g. rayon), which reflect more UV rays than matte fabrics like linen. Also, lighter fabrics won’t provide as much protection as heavier materials. And don’t forget the wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses before going outside.
Find shade from the sun
Try to avoid being directly in the sun during the peak hours of 10am-4pm when UV is the strongest. When it comes to planning outdoor activities opt for early mornings or late afternoons.
See your Wellesley Hills skin doctor
Annual skin cancer screenings are important for everyone, whether you have risk factors or not. While you should be checking your skin from head-to-toe every month we will be able to perform a more thorough examination to detect any suspicious growths. By getting a professional exam once a year you may just prevent skin cancer from happening to you.
If you want to schedule your skin cancer screening turn to the dermatological experts at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Association in Wellesley Hills, MA. Call our office today!