What You Might Not Know About Skin Cancer

Skin cancer has become common today, with more people being diagnosed with the disease than other types of cancer. Fortunately, it is one of the most painless cancers to find as it begins where you can see it. The good part is that when found early, this condition is very manageable at Manhattan Dermatology.

The able team of experienced dermatologists, including board-certified physician and fellowship-trained Mohs micrographic surgeon Dr. Wendy Long Mitchell, MD, FAAD, FACMS, offers regular checks, diagnosis, and effective treatments when needed. Because you can feel well and still have skin cancer, it is good to have a broader look into the condition.

What Skin Cancer Looks Like

The appearance of skin cancer can vary for different people. Some possibilities are:

  • A dome-shaped growth.
  • A changing mole or one that is different from others.
  • Non-healing sores or those that heal and return.
  • Scaly patch.
  • Brown or black streak under a nail.

However, if you notice any signs on your skin that concerns you, a dermatologist can examine and diagnose the situation for you. If you see spots on your skin that bleeds, itches, changes, or differs from others, contact your provider at Manhattan Dermatology, who can check your skin for any signs of skin cancer.

Types of Skin Cancer

Skin cancers can be defined according to where they develop. They develop primarily on sun-exposed skin but can also form in areas that rarely see the light. Different types of skin cancer include:

Basal Cell Carcinoma

This is the most frequently occurring skin cancer and develops due to sun exposure. The majority of this kind of skin cancer grows on the neck, face, or arms. It can be characterized by:

  • A flat, flesh-colored lesion.
  • A pearly or waxy bump.
  • Bleeding or scabbing sore that heals and returns.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This is the second most common kind of skin cancer and occurs due to overexposure to ultraviolet sun rays. In most cases, squamous cell carcinoma develops on the ears, scalp, face, or hands. However, it can occur in less exposed areas on people with darker skin. This kind of skin cancer can appear as a firm, red nodule or a flat lesion with a scaly, crusted surface.

Melanoma

This is the least occurring skin cancer compared to others and is also caused by sun exposure. This is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and develops inside an existing mole. However, there is hope; despite being severe, melanoma is also treatable when an early diagnosis is made.

Melanoma can be indicated by:

  • A painful lesion that burns or itches.
  • A large brownish spot with darker speckles.
  • A small lesion with an irregular border and portions that appear red, pink, or blue.
  • A mole that changes in size and color or bleeds.

If you experience any unusual skin growth, please discuss it with your care provider. It might be challenging to differentiate one form of skin cancer from another if it develops into deeper layers of the skin.

Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

After visiting your dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology, a skin examination and a biopsy are the most common diagnostic features for skin cancer.

Treatment options can be recommended depending on the type of skin cancer and how deep it has advanced. The options include:

  • Surgical removal of the entire growth.
  • Mohs surgery is a precise incremental removal of cancer.
  • Radiations can also be used primarily for the moles that keep recurring after removal.

If you are concerned about skin cancer or are experiencing suspected skin complications, don’t hesitate to contact Manhattan Dermatology for more information and get the help you require.