The professionals at Bay Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery suggest a head-to-toe skin screening each year to determine potential signs of skin cancer—twice annually if you spend a great deal of time in the sun. Below is an out line of types of skin cancers.
The most common kind of skin cancer is Basal Cell carcinoma. Basal Cell carcinoma most often occurs on the sun-exposed areas of the skin and may look like an open sore, reddish patch, or waxy growth with an elevated border and central indentation. Treatment of Basal Cell cancer includes: excisional surgery, electrosurgery, microscopically controlled surgery and radiation
The second most common type of skin cancer is Squamous Cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma also occurs most often on sun-exposed skin and may look like a scaly red patch with irregular borders, a wart-like growth, or an open sore. These cancers may bleed easily if bumped or disturbed. Treatments for this type of cancer include: excisional surgery, electrosurgery, radiation and microscopically controlled surgery.
The most dangerous type of skin cancer is Melanoma. Melanoma may occur on any area of the body and may resemble a mole, but there are important differences. If you notice changes in a mole you should contact a physician immediately. A melanoma may present as an asymmetrical lesion with an irregular border. If the color or pigmentation of the area is not uniform, or if the diameter of the area is greater than six millimeters, these are also danger signs.
In addition to these three types of skin cancer, there are two types of lesions that have the potential to progress into skin cancer. One type of pre-cancer is Actinic Keratosis, which appears as a scaly or crusty bump and can be treated with cryosurgery, curettage and electrodissection, shave removal, dermabrasion, chemical peels, laser surgery, or topical medication. The second type is Dysplastic Nevi. Dysplastic Nevi are abnormal moles that resemble Melanoma and are often asymmetrical in shape, have an irregular border, vary in color, and are larger than normal moles. They should be watched carefully for changes that may indicate progressions to Melanoma. It is important to remember that avoiding sun exposure and tanning beds and wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher can best prevent these types of skin cancer.