What is Skin Cancer?
A pimple-like bump on the skin that just won’t go away, a persistent red scaly patch, a red crusty growth that keeps coming back after it is knocked off, a changing mole. These are all possible signs of skin cancer. Regularly examining your own skin allows you to become familiar with the landmarks of your skin and enables you to monitor for new or changing spots or growths. As one in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, routine self-skin examination is important. Surveillance by a skilled dermatologist is vital. Dr. Gandhi recognizes the importance of early detection and treatment of skin cancer and the ongoing care and surveillance necessary to minimize future pre cancers and skin cancers.
What are the types of Skin Cancer?
The three most common forms of skin cancer are:
Basal Cell Carcinoma
is the most common form of cancer and skin cancer. A red pearly bump or red scaly patch that slowly grows and sometimes bleeds, basal cell carcinomas usually arise on sun exposed skin of the head, face or neck. Basal cell carcinoma can grow deep and become destructive to underlying tissues, but is the most treatable form of skin cancer when caught early. Contact Lake Shore Dermatology to schedule an appointment today if you think you may have a basal cell and make sure to see Dr. Gandhi regularly if you have had a basal cell carcinoma in the past.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
can present as a wart like growth that is occasionally painful. These can grow quickly and rarely spread to other parts of the body. Early diagnosis and treatment can be curative. Contact our office to schedule an appointment if you think you have a concerning or suspicious growth. Be sure to schedule routine follow up skin exams if you have ever had a squamous cell carcinoma in the past.
is the least common of the three but has the most potential to cause harm. A new or changing mole in adulthood, bleeding mole, or itchy mole can be common signs of melanoma. Asymmetry, border irregularity, color variation, diameter larger than 6mm, or changes over time in a pigmented growth or flat mole are all hallmark signs of melanoma. If you have a suspicious mole, have had atypical moles removed in the past, a family history of atypical moles or melanoma, have ever been tanning, have had a bad or blistering sunburn, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Gandhi for a skin exam. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can be curative.
When caught early, skin cancer is curable. For this reason, Dr. Gandhi recommends routine skin examination of your skin for skin cancer surveillance and evaluation of your moles.
Contact Lake Shore Dermatology to schedule your consultation with Dr. Gandhi for a skin exam in a professional, compassionate, respectful setting. After diagnosis, a treatment plan customized to your specific diagnosis will be developed with your input. Ongoing follow up surveillance and preventive therapies after treatment will be an essential part of your care.