The statistics on skin cancer are sobering. One in five people will develop skin cancer by the time they reach 70 years of age, and the incidences of nonmelanoma skin cancers have increased by 77% from 1994 to 2014.
Exposure to the sun is responsible for about nine out of 10 cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, with 4.3 million cases diagnosed each year. Squamous cell carcinoma is also a risk, with more than a million cases detected each year.
Melanoma, the most insidious and dangerous form of skin cancer, will lead to the death of an estimated 9,300 people in 2018. Your risk of developing melanoma doubles if you’ve had more than five sunburns.
A suspicious mole that gets bigger, bleeds, has irregular edges, or is of unusual color is a significant symptom of skin cancer, particularly melanoma. Other signs of melanoma include:
A waxy bump or flesh-colored, scar-like patch indicate possible basal cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma can develop as a firm red nodule or a flat spot with a crusty surface.
Regular use of a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher reduces your risk of developing skin cancer significantly. Other measures to take include:
Yearly screenings at Atlantic Dermatology can protect you from developing a severe case of skin cancer by catching it early.
Early detection leads to successful and minimally invasive treatment. Doctors can excise squamous cell and many basal cell carcinomas when identified at a first stage. Mohs surgery is the gold standard treatment for these cancers. It’s performed in steps and involves precise lab work to remove all the cancerous cells, resulting in the highest cure rate and sparing of your healthy tissue.
To learn more about skin cancer risk, prevention, and treatment, call Atlantic Dermatology or book a consultation online.
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