Skin Cancer 101
- Posted on: Apr 15 2018
The warmer weather means that it is time to start thinking about ways to protect yourself from skin cancer. You can develop skin cancer anytime of year, but spring and summer are the seasons that we spend the most time outdoors. Detected early, skin cancer is a treatable condition, but you should know the signs of the most common types of skin cancer.
Actinic Keratosis: Pre-Cancerous Growths
Cancer develops as a result of abnormal cells multiplying. Actinic keratosis is a pre-cancerous condition that indicates skin cancer is soon to appear. Small lesions develop on the surface of the skin and have a scaly appearance. The patches may be brown or red. In most parts of the United States, cases of actinic keratosis develop after a person is 40 or older, but areas that have year-round sunshine tend to have cases at much earlier ages.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The second most common type of skin cancer is squamous cell carcinoma. This slow-growing cancer can spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, lymph nodes, and soft tissues. We typically see squamous cell carcinoma on the lips, tips of the ears, nose and other areas that are frequently exposed to the sunlight and rarely protected by hats and sunscreen.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
As basal cell carcinoma develops, it has an appearance similar to psoriasis and eczema. This is why we recommend that you be evaluated by a dermatologist if you find any abnormal patches of skin or growths on your body. Basal Cell carcinoma typically does not spread to other tissues, but the tumors can grow rather large, and this requires more extensive treatment. Surgery and other techniques can effectively remove the cancerous cells, but the procedure may leave behind significant scarring, affect nerves and muscles and change the anatomical structure of the treatment area.
Melanoma accounts for the smallest number of skin cancer cases each year, but the condition is deadly if left untreated. Cancer spreads and may affect almost every type of tissue in your body. Finding melanoma early offers the best prognosis.
Find Out If You are at Risk for Skin Cancer. Contact Dr. Kimberly Carpin.
To learn more about skin cancer, scar removal, dermal fillers and our other services, contact Dr. Kimberly Carpin to schedule a consultation. We are located in Houston, and you can call us at (281) 333-4600.
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