Skin cancer that is most aggressive
Skin cancer is treated with a high rate of success when detected early. This discussion centers around melanoma, the most aggressive type of skin cancer. Melanoma affects approximately 5% of all people diagnosed with skin cancer. Do not let the numbers mislead you, it is also the leading cause of all skin cancer deaths.
Risk factors for melanoma
Risk factors for melanoma include:
- A history of excessive sun exposure
- People with fair skin
- A family history of melanoma
However, those without risk factors should be just as vigilant in looking for the signs and symptoms of melanoma and should contact their doctor or dermatologist if they discover anything abnormal on their skin. Melanoma, as with other forms of skin cancer, is most treatable when detected early. Moles or spots on the skin should be self-examined once a month. Look for any changes in the existing areas, but also be on the lookout for new moles.
Signs and symptoms of melanoma
A melanoma may begin as a change in an existing mole, or it could be discovered as a new spot on the skin. It does not matter how long you have had a mole, any change should be discussed with and carefully examined by your dermatologist. Use the mnemonic, A-B-C-D-E to check for signs of skin cancer. The possible signs and symptoms of a melanoma include:
A – Asymmetry of a mole.
B – Border – melanomas often have an irregular border or edge.
C – Color – Melanomas tend to be “more colorful” than regular moles.
D – Diameter – Melanomas tend to be larger than normal moles. Any mole that has a diameter which is the same or larger than that of a pencil eraser should be evaluated.
E – Elevation – A mole may be elevated off the skin.
Other signs and symptoms
Melanomas may sometimes cause itching and they may scab over if you scratch them.
- Sores on the skin that do not heal –
If a sore on your skin does not heal after 2 weeks, have your doctor examine the sore.
- Bleeding or oozing from a mole –
Bleeding or oozing from a mole or spot is often indicative of advanced melanoma and needs to be evaluated.
Technically, it is not possible to prevent melanoma. However, you can greatly reduce your risk. Start with reducing your exposure to UV rays. Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps, and always wear sunscreen. Avoiding the sun between the hours of 10 am to 2 pm can significantly reduce exposure. Wear sunscreen, but it is not wise to totally rely on it. Use sunscreen in conjunction with other sun safety practices.
Skin cancer screening in Charlotte, NC
Your risk for skin cancer can depend upon many factors. If you are finding it difficult to live with your condition, Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte can provide high quality and innovative treatment in a caring and professional environment. Dr. Nixon is a board-certified dermatologist, whose dedication, experience, and knowledge will provide the best possible treatment for your cosmetic and medical dermatology concerns.
Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte also offers surgical dermatology. They provide a full range of cosmetic offerings such as skin tightening, fat reduction, chemical peels, Botox treatments, microdermabrasion, and more. They provide treatment for both adult and pediatric patients. Call Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte today for a skin care evaluation and skin cancer screening, or for any other skin condition.