Posts for tag: Skin Cancer
Skin cancer doesn't always cause dramatic changes. In fact, symptoms can be subtle and easily confused with blemishes or minor skin irritations. The dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Association in Wellesley, MA, offer screenings and other services and treatments that help you protect your skin.
Should I worry about that spot or mole?
It's not unusual to experience an occasional pimple or patch of red or dry skin from time to time. Unfortunately, blemishes that don't go away after a few weeks can be signs of basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer.
Basal cell skin cancer is the most common form of skin cancer in the United States, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Symptoms include rounded, pimple-like bumps; sores that never heal; or brown, black, red, or pink patches of skin.
If you have squamous cell skin cancer, you may also notice red bumps or patches of red, flaky, or crusty skin. Your risk of developing basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer increases due to sun exposure or use of tanning beds. Although neither type of cancer tends to spread, the cancerous cells can invade the deeper layers of the skin if you don't receive prompt diagnosis and treatment.
A change in a mole can be a sign that you have melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer that can spread throughout your body. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using the "ABCDE" method when evaluating moles. Consider these factors when examining your moles:
- Asymmetry: Do both sides look the same? If one side of the mole doesn't mirror the other half, it's a good idea to contact your Wellesley skin doctor.
- Borders: Rough, irregular, or blurred borders also warrant a call to your dermatologist.
- Color: Healthy moles aren't multi-colored and don't change color.
- Diameter: Moles may be more likely to become cancerous if they're bigger than the eraser at the end of a pencil.
- Evolving: Have you noticed a change in the size, color, or shape of your mole? Does it itch, ooze fluid, or bleed?
Are you concerned about a strange spot or a suspicious mole? Call your dermatologists at Newton Wellesley Dermatology Association in Wellesley, MA, at (781) 237-3500 to schedule an appointment.
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!
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.