SKIN CANCER

What you should know about prevention & treatment. 

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.  If you have skin cancer, it is important to know which type you have because it affects your treatment options and your outlook (prognosis).

There are three types of skin cancer: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Malignant Melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer; an estimated 2.8 million are diagnosed annually in the US. BCCs are rarely fatal, but can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow. Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer. An estimated 700,000 cases of SCC are diagnosed each year in the US.  Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer .




Please take some time to go over these quick facts about skin cancer below and if you notice any of the signs listed below, contact our office at 888-631-7773 to schedule a consultation.
 

Basal Cell

  • Most common
  • Slow-growing
  • 85% occur on face and neck
  • Raised pink or pearly white bump with small, visible blood vessels near edge
  • Pigmented pumps that look like moles with a pearly edge
  • Sore that continuously heals and reopens
  • Flat scaly scar with waxy appearance and blurred edges
  • Tend to bleed
     

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

  • Crusty or scaly patch of skin with an inflamed, red base
  • Can occur anywhere including inside of the mouth, but most frequently on scalp, face, ears and back of hands
     

Malignant Melanoma

  • Most deadly
  • Spreads rapidly to internal organs and lymph system
  • Looks like moles and often grow inside existing moles
  • Change to size, shape or color of mole
     

Prevention

Dr. Kirby believes that patient education is key to early diagnosis of skin cancer. Yearly physician-directed, full body skin exams are recommended and monthly self-exams are encouraged. To schedule your annual exam, please call please call 888-631-7773.
 

Tips for Sun Protection

  • Apply sunscreen of at least SPF 15 is strongly advised
  • Cover up with light-colored clothing and a hat when exposed to sunlight
  • Wear sunglasses to prevent UV damage to eyes
  • Avoid prolonged periods of sun exposure and sun burns. It is important to use extra caution near reflecting water, snow and sand
  • Avoid tanning beds
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