At Center City Dermatology, we remove skin cancers, cysts, lipomas, and other skin growths.
More than one million skin cancers are found in the U. S., and the rate has been increasing. The leading cause of skin cancer is sun exposure, and people who have fair skin or burn easily in the sun are most susceptible. However, skin cancer can be found in people of all types of skin color, from lightest to darkest.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer and can appear in different forms: shiny smooth bump, non-healing sore, waxy scar, or pink scaly patch. Although basal cell carcinoma very rarely spreads to other parts of the body, early detection and treatment are important to prevent extensive destruction of the tissue in the area.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. It generally appears as red, scaly or crusty growths on sun exposed areas. Squamous cell carcinoma can grow deep into the tissue and if neglected, can metastasize and become life-threatening.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and can be found in people of all skin colors. It often arises on sun-exposed areas but can be anywhere on the skin and very rarely in other organs as well. It can develop from an existing mole or appear on previously normal skin. Early detection through careful skin cancer screening is paramount to timely intervention that can be life-saving.
Aside from sun protection and screening of skin cancers by dermatologists, regular self-examination for suspicious moles or changes in the skin is recommended. Any change in mole, such as size, color, or shape, can be a warning sign of melanoma. Symptoms of itch, pain, or bleeding may also be a suspicious change.
For learning to detect growths suspicious for melanoma, the ABCDE guideline is helpful. Any one or more of these characteristics may be found in melanomas.
A stands for Asymmetry in mole
B stands for irregular or poorly defined Border
C stands for multiple Colors or uneven Color
D stands for large Diameter (> 6 mm)
E stands for Evolving mole or mole/growth that stands out from the rest