Skin Cancer Screening
The most common type of cancer in the United States is skin cancer. It occurs when skin cells are damaged due to overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight or tanning beds. The main types of skin cancer include Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), Actinic Keratosis (AK), and Melanoma. Fortunately, with early detection and proper treatment, most forms of skin cancer can be cured. Below you will find the signs and symptoms of skin cancer and information on how a skin cancer screen can save your life.
Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer affects individuals of all genders and races. Its symptoms vary based on the type of cancer that is present. Here is a brief overview of the signs and symptoms you can expect from each type of skin cancer:
● Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC): BCC patients often notice a translucent, red, pink, or shiny bump, pink lesions with raised borders and a crusty center, a raised reddish patch of crusty or itchy skin, or a yellow, white, or waxy area with a border that is poorly defined and gives the appearance of a scar.
● Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): An open sore that persists for weeks, a raised growth with a rough surface and an indented center, and scaly red patches with irregular borders are all signs of SCC.
● Actinic Keratosis (AK): Symptoms of AK include a dry, rough, or scaly patch of skin that is less than 1 inch in diameter, burning or itching in the affected area, a flat or slightly raised bump on the top layer of skin, a hard surface that resembles a wart, and pink, red, brown, or flesh-colored skin.
● Melanoma:Melanoma patients are likely to find a mole that bleeds or changes in size or color, a large brown spot with darker speckles, a tiny lesion with an irregular border and portions that are blue, white, or red, dark lesions on the toes, fingertips, palms, soles, nose, or other body parts, or an open sore that continues to persist.
What is Skin Cancer Screening?
Early detection of skin cancer greatly increases the likelihood for successful treatment and survival. In order to detect skin cancer early, the dermatologists at Blue Ridge Dermatology recommend annual skin cancer screenings. A skin cancer screening involves a comprehensive full body examination of your skin to inspect any areas of concern or for atypical lesions, growths, or changing moles. In most cases, a skin cancer screen only lasts ten minutes. However, if a questionable mole is found, the exam may take longer. If needed, a biopsy will be performed.
If skin cancer is detected, a dermatologist will discuss the next steps and treatment options available for your specific type and stage of skin cancer. Skin cancer treatments may include surgery, cryotherapy, radiotherapy, topical chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy, or topical immunotherapy.
Contact Blue Ridge Dermatology to Schedule Your Skin Cancer Screen
To ensure that your skin is healthy and cancer free, schedule an appointment at Blue Ridge Dermatology for your annual skin cancer screen. At Blue Ridge Dermatology in Raleigh and Cary, we provide each and every patient that enters our office with personalized, compassionate, and quality care. We are dedicated to helping you keep your skin in tip-top condition so that you can live a long, healthy life with beautiful skin.