Melanoma and Skin Cancers

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Irregularities of the skin can happen as a result of a virus or even form as a result of cancerous cells forming. These growths can vary in color and size and may appear on all over the body. Many of these skin growths are harmless, however, it is always important to have any new or old growth checked out by a dermatologist to confirm a diagnosis.

Skin Cancer
There are three distinct types of skin cancer. Their differences are both physical and cellular and are treated differently based on their depth, size, and age.

Melanoma
Melanoma is the most serious of the three types of skin cancer. This type is most commonly caused by repeated overexposure to the sun. These growths begin with pigmented cells called melanocytes and progress in size from there. These cells are typically black or brown in color, resembling moles making it even more important to have annual check-ups with a dermatologist.

Basal Cell Carcinoma
A basal cell carcinoma is a slower developing skin tumor as a result of abnormal changes in basal skin cells. More than 90 percent of basal cell carcinomas occur because of regular sun exposure to sunlight or other ultraviolet radiation. Symptoms include a skin lesion, growth or bump located on the face, ear, neck, chest, back or scalp, with a shiny appearance. Treatment varies depending on the size, depth, and location of cancer. Prompt treatment by a dermatologist may result in a cure rate of more than 95 percent.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma
A squamous cell carcinoma is a malignant tumor that affects the middle layer of the skin. This malignant tumor is more aggressive than basal cell cancer because of its potential to spread. Symptoms include skin lesions that are firm, reddened and possibly cone shaped. Like other forms, treatment varies depending on the size, depth, and location of the tumor, as well as how much it has spread. Most squamous cell tumors may be cured if promptly removed. New tumors may develop; therefore, patients should have regular examinations by a dermatologist.

If you believe you may have melanoma or skin cancer, or are concerned about a mole, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Diggs.