Skin Cancer Facts
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers; basal cell and squamous cell cancers affect more than one million Americans each year and the number is rising. Because ultraviolet light can damage DNA, exposing the skin to sunlight increases the risk for an individual to develop skin cancer. Skin type is a very important factor in the development of skin cancer. Fair-skinned individuals who tend to burn easily and tan poorly are at the greatest risk while dark skinned people are at a reduced risk.
What are the signs of cancer?
A change on the skin is the most common sign of skin cancer. This may be a new growth, a sore that doesn’t heal, or a change in an old growth. Not all skin cancers look the same and you should inspect your skin periodically and become familiar with all spots and moles and pay special attention to their sizes, shapes, edges, and color.
Treatment Options for Skin Cancer
It is very difficult to deal with the emotions that flood our minds after we have been diagnosed with skin cancer. It is important however to stay calm and clear our minds so we can learn what to do and the best way to take care of it. At Comprehensive Dermatology Center of Pasadena, we can help you through this difficult process and together we can determine what treatment procedure is best for you. Most skin cancers, even malignant melanoma, can be cured if discovered early enough. This is why attention to symptoms and regular self-examination is highly recommended. When cancers of the skin are discovered early, there are a variety of treatment possibilities.
Sometimes all of the cancer is removed during the biopsy and in this case, you will not need further treatment. Treatment for skin cancer depends on the type and stage of your disease, the size and place of growth, and your general health and medical history. In most cases, the aim of treatment is to remove or destroy the cancer completely.
Some of the options available to treat your skin cancer are:
- Radiation Therapy
- Topical Immuno-Modulating Agents
- Topical Chemotherapy
- Electrodessication and Curettage
- Skin Cancer Surgery
- Laser Surgery
- Excisional Surgery
- Mohs Surgery
The best way to protect yourself from future skin cancers is to make a serious attempt at reducing the amount of sunlight you are exposed to. You don’t have to change your entire lifestyle but you should alter it intelligently and take the proper precautions. An unfortunate statistic is that 50% of people who develop a skin cancer will develop skin cancer again within five years.