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Skin Cancer

The term “skin cancer” can be a frightening one, but with today’s treatments and technologies, most skin cancers can be safely cured. Moh’s surgery is the current gold standard treatment for removal of many skin cancers.

Some skin cancers are more serious than others. Catching skin cancer early is the key to successful treatment.

Types of skin cancer:
Basal cell carcinoma. The most common type of non-melanoma skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma appears as a pink, waxy bump on sun-exposed areas such as the face, ears, neck, torso, arms or legs. These tumors grow slowly and may have blood vessels on the surface and bleed when injured. They can have a sunken center or may ooze and crust over.
Squamous cell carcinoma. Another non-melanoma skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma appears as red, rough, scaly patches on sun-exposed areas. The lesions grow slowly and may look like flat, red patches. Left untreated, a patch may develop into an open sore.
Kaposi’s sarcoma. A rare form of skin cancer, Kaposi’s sarcoma presents as brownish-red or blue skin lesions, typically on the legs and feet.
Melanoma. The deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma causes 77% of skin cancer deaths even though it makes up only 4% of diagnosed skin cancers. Melanoma develops from an existing mole or may appear on normal skin as a new growth.

Skin cancer screening for melanoma involves checking the skin for moles or other growths that exhibit warning signs including irregularities in symmetry, border, color, diameter and growth pattern. Suspicious growths should be evaluated by a dermatologist and may be biopsied by excision for signs of malignancy.

Patients who have been diagnosed with any form of skin cancer should have regular screenings by a dermatologist.