Are you wondering whether certain skin changes could be warning you about skin cancer?
Skin cancer can happen to anyone. If you’ve ever had a sunburn at any point in your lifetime (even your childhood) then you are at an increased risk for skin cancer. Furthermore, those with fair skin, light hair and eyes, and people who spend a lot of time outdoors are also more prone to developing skin cancer. Read below to learn what you should look for the next time you perform your own skin exam, and, as always, call our Wellesley Hills, MA, dermatology office if you have any concerns!
Warning Signs of Skin Cancer
There are several different kinds of skin cancer, but most people hear “skin cancer” and think of melanoma, although there are also non-melanoma forms, as well. It’s important that you are looking for both during your self-exams. Here’s what to look for:
Most doctors will tell you to remember your ABCDEs when it comes to detecting melanoma lesions. ABCDE stands for asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and evolving. A healthy mole will be symmetrical, a single color, have a clearly defined border, and won’t change throughout the years.
It’s time to give us a call if you notice any moles or growths that are,
- Have a poorly defined or ragged border
- Have different colors or shades of color
- Larger than 6 mm (about the size of a pencil eraser)
- Changing (in color, shape or size)
Furthermore, any sores that do not heal, or that itch, crust over, or bleed should also be checked out by a dermatologist.
Even though it’s important to detect melanoma early, you should still be on the lookout for non-melanoma skin cancer, as well. Common signs include,
- Red, scaly raised patches
- A smooth, shiny lump (often pink, red, or white)
- A growth with visible blood vessels
- Flat white or yellow patches that resemble scars
- A recurring sore
Treating Skin Cancer
How our Wellesley Hills, MA, skin doctor decides to treat your skin cancer will depend on several factors, including the location, type, and severity of your skin cancer, and whether the cancer has spread. There are many different kinds of skin cancer treatment options including,
- Excisional surgery
- Mohs surgery (most commonly used)
- Radiation therapy
- Chemotherapy (sometimes topical)
- Photodynamic therapy
- Immunotherapy (sometimes topical)
- Targeted therapy
Are you living in Wellesley Hills, MA, and noticing a new growth or changes in a mole? If so, then it’s best to play it safe and schedule a skin cancer screening with us. Here at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Associates, we are dedicated to providing your entire family with the trustworthy skin care they need to reduce their risk of developing skin cancer during their lifetime. Give us a call at (781) 237-3500!