Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells that usually occurs due to a mutation in the DNA of the cells. Cancer usually begins in the topmost skin layer, which is the epidermis. The epidermis has three main types of cells: basal, squamous, and melanocytes. These three are also most involved in skin cancer. Basal and squamous skin cancer usually occurs on parts of the skin that are exposed to sunlight, while melanocytes can occur on parts of the skin that are not exposed to the sun.
Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the country, every day, approximately 9,500 people are diagnosed with it.
Checking For Skin Cancer
Checking skin regularly helps patients catch skin cancer early. New growths or a change in the appearance of moles or birthmarks. Use mirrors for hard-to-see areas — check your scalp, face, neck, ears, chest, back, arms, hands, legs, stomach, and feet. If you see any changes, have it checked by your doctor.
- Basal skin cancer may appear as a bump with a pearly or waxy appearance, a flesh or brown-colored lesion, or a scab that keeps forming.
- Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as a red nodule or scaly and crusty skin.
- Melanoma may appear as a large brown spot surrounding smaller brown spots, an irregular-shaped and colored mole or a bleeding mole, and dark lesions.
What Increases Your Risk
Things that increase your risk of skin cancer include having many moles, unprotected sun exposure, sunburns, and the use of products that increase sun sensitivity. Being fair-skinned, having a family history of skin cancer, and exposure to radiation and toxic substances can also increase skin cancer risk. If you have a darker skin complexion, you can still get skin cancer, particularly melanoma.
Can It Be Prevented?
Perhaps the most important thing that you can do to prevent skin cancer involves limiting unprotected sun exposure. Use sunblock with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more and reapply it every two hours. Don’t forget to include your lips, which also need sun protection.
If you notice skin changes, have it checked by a dermatologist, if it turns out to be a non-cancerous change, at least you will have peace of mind knowing it’s not skin cancer. For skin cancer treatment, choose a dermatologist with broad experience treating different skin cancers.
Skin Cancer Treatment in Miami, FL
Dr. T.J. Giuffrida of The Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center is a highly skilled and well-respected dermatologist in south Florida. Dr. Giuffrida performs state-of-the-art treatments for skin cancer, including Mohs Micrographic Surgery for high-risk cancers. Dr. Giuffrida and will offer several treatment options based upon the type of skin cancer and its size and location and put together an individualized plan for the best treatment outcomes.
In our Coral Gables dermatology clinic, we provide high-quality, patient-centric care and treat our patients with utmost respect and compassion. If you have any questions or to make an appointment with Dr. Giuffrida, please call our clinic at (305) 461-2000 or use our online form to contact us. We look forward to serving you.