Diagnosing Skin Cancer
Skin Cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, It affects 1 in 5 Americans during their life time. If left untreated the cancer may spread to other parts of your body, such as lymph nodes and different bones. Several different types of skin cancer exist, including:
- Actinic Keratosis: Appears as a rough patch of skin, usually a red or pink color, on areas of your body that are constantly exposed to the sun. This is the most common form of precancer. If left untreated, Actinic Keratosis can develop into squamous cell carcinoma.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma: The most common form of skin cancer, it comprises approximately 90% of all cases. Basal Cell Carcinoma is most common in the head and neck area and won’t usually spread to the rest of the body. It often looks like a raised, pearly, or waxy pink bump, often with a dimple in the middle.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Similar to Basal Cell Carcinoma, but more aggressive and can spread to other areas of the body. It appears as red, scaly, and/or rough skin lesions. Typically found on constantly sun-exposed areas such as the neck, lips, ears, head, and hands.
- Melanoma: While it is typically the least common form of skin cancer, Melanoma is the most dangerous. It causes about 73 Percent of all skin cancer-related deaths. A mole is the most common indicator of Melanoma. If you notice a mole with: asymmetrical shape, border irregularites, inconsistent coloring, a diameter larger than 6 millimeters, and/or a growing size or shape you should go see a specialist immediately.
Removing Skin Cancer
A cancer diagnosis is very difficult to accept. Understanding that treating your skin cancer may result in scars or disfigurement can also be troubling. Your plastic surgeon understands your concerns and will guide you through treatment and explain the resulting effect on your health and appearance.
Skin cancer, much like any form of cancer, may require surgery to remove the cancerous growth. Your plastic surgeon can surgically remove cancerous and other skin lesions using specialized techniques to preserve your health and your appearance. Like all cancers, catching and removing skin cancer as soon as possible will give the best results. If you have any further questions or would like to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Laughlin, call us today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before & After