What is Skin Cancer?
The most common skin cancers
Basal cell carcinoma
80-85% of all skin cancers. Basal cell carcinoma affects cells in the lowest layer of the epidermis.
Squamous cell carcinoma
10% of all skin cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma affects cells in the middle layer of the epidermis.
5% of all skin cancers. Melanoma is a rare but very dangerous type of skin cancer. It is the leading cause of death from skin disease.
Skin cancers vary in shape, color, size and texture, so any new, changed or otherwise suspicious growths or rashes should be examined immediately by a physician. Early intervention is essential to preventing the cancer from spreading.
Who is at risk of developing Skin Cancer?
Symptoms of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is most identifiable as a new or changed growth on the skin. You may notice this in different areas of the body and it is important to check yourself often. Although skin-cancer growths most commonly form on the scalp, face, lips, neck, chest, arms, hands or legs, they can occur anywhere. Important signs to look for are:
- Pearly or waxy bumps
- Flesh-colored or brown scar-like lesions
- Firm, red nodules
- Crusted, flat lesions
- Large brown spot with darker speckles
- Shiny, firm bumps
A mole that changes shape or color can also indicate skin cancer.
The ABCDE’s of Skin Cancer
- A – Asymmetry. Benign moles are usually symmetrical, so if you notice a large degree of asymmetry, it is important to have this looked at right away.
- B – Borders. Cancerous lesions often have irregular borders.
- C – Colors. If the mole or lesion is more than one color, this could be a sign of melanoma.
- D – Diameter. Pay close attention to the size of the lesion and monitor any changes.
- E – Evolving. If the mole or lesion has gone through any changes of asymmetry, borders, colors, or diameter, alert Dr. Callender immediately.
If you notice any changes in any moles or lesions on your body, schedule a consultation with Dr. Callender right away.
Treatment of Skin Cancer
The number of treatments varies from person to person depending upon the type, size and location of the cancerous lesion. The good news is that most growths can be removed. Depending on the severity of the cancer, chemotherapy and radiation may be necessary. It is important to have any suspicions lesions checked by Dr. Callender as soon as a change is noticed.