What is skin cancer?
Any kind of skin cancer can be scary. However, there are distinct differences between the different types of skin cancers that can impact prognosis and treatment.
Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It can occur in people of any age, gender, and race, although there are some risk factors that make one more likely to develop skin cancers. Skin cancer is closely correlated to exposure to UV rays, and in some cases it may also be genetic.
Skin cancer can take many different forms. It may be a mole, a bump, or a growth. Skin cancer can be flesh colored or a range of colors from black, to blue, to red and more. The surface of a cancerous growth may be scaly or rough.
What are the types of skin cancer?
There are several different types of cancer, but the main ones are: Basal cell carcinoma- common in people with fair skin, this growth can look pinkish or flesh colored. It is commonly seen on areas of the skin that received frequent sun exposure.
Squamous cell carcinoma- may look like a red bump, scaly patch, or sore. These also form on areas that are prone to sun exposure.
Melanoma- Melanoma often develops as a mole or as a suddenly appearing dark spot. Early detection and treatment is important with melanoma.
Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are the most common skin cancers, and they are also the most treatable. With early intervention, most people are able to remove these cancers with few or no lasting ill effects. Melanoma can be more serious, and should be treated quickly and aggressively. Fortunately, it is the least common of these three variety of cancer.
How does treatment vary for types of skin cancer?
Your dermatologist will be able to recommend the most appropriate course of treatment for your particular case of skin cancer. This may be influenced by the type of cancer, the location, and how advanced it is. Common treatments include excision, Mohs surgery, prescription topicals, cryosurgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Treatments can be tailored to minimize the aesthetic impact to the surface of the skin.
Seeing a Charlotte NC dermatologist
If you are located in or near the Charlotte NC area, consider seeing the experts at Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte for all of your dermatological needs, including the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. Dr. Deborah Nixon and her team are well trained in identifying the different types of skin cancer and recommending the most effective and appropriate treatment for each.
Make sure that taking good care of your skin is a priority. Contact the expert team at Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte today to set up your initial appointment.