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.