It is undeniable that early detection of skin cancer has saved lives. Although skin cancer is different that you can see the signs because they are on the skin’s surface as compared to other cancers that begin on the inside of the body, it is still critical to address any concerns immediately. If you see a spot on your skin, go to a dermatologist as soon as possible. Most skin cancers can be easily removed if found and treated early.
Skin Cancer Affects Twenty Percent of Adults
The reality of skin cancer is that by 70 years old, 20 percent of people have experienced some form of skin cancer and seek treatment from a local dermatologist. The great news is that early detection is 99 percent effective in treating it! As with any cancer, once a concern is identified, it is crucial to act on it and see a medical professional. Waiting can result in more advanced stages, requiring more invasive treatments. So, if you or anyone you know is worrying about a dark spot on their skin, send them to a licensed dermatologist right away.
If You See Something, Say Something
Skin cancer is visible, unlike other cancers that begin inside the body where you can’t see it. Skin exams can be done at home regularly, and if something triggers concern, schedule a skin cancer screening. The best dermatologists will do a personal interview, gathering relevant information and medical history. Once that is done, a complete exam is done from head to toe, so nothing is missed! Dermatologists are excellent at detecting anything that may be cancerous. Scheduling a regular skin screening is not a bad idea if you are susceptible or have a history of skin cancer. As is true with any cancer, it is better to be proactive than not!
Performing regular home exams is another excellent way to detect skin cancer early. A few things to consider when doing a self-exam are identifying skin marks or spots that seem to change texture, shape, or size should be checked out, and any new spots on the skin that suddenly appear or re-appear should also be examined. If something feels or looks unusual, it is better to get it looked at by a trained professional than wait. There are more comprehensive descriptions of what to look for during home exams so that any findings are easier to treat before they become dangerous or worse. Even though, as we age, our skin does develop different skin bumps and seem dryer and flakier, spots on the skin will be easier to spot once you are examining your skin regularly. If you get something checked out and it is not skin cancer, you rest easy. If you do not get something checked out, you risk it becoming something that could be harmful.
Dermatologists Can Effectively Treat Early Detection Skin Cancer
Many treatments are available to treat skin cancer that can be done effectively and efficiently in a local dermatologist’s office. Among treatments is freezing, also known as cryosurgery, where essentially the skin is frozen off. Laser surgery and excision are other common in-office treatments for skin cancer. Excision is a process that involves cutting the skin with signs of cancer as well as some healthy skin surrounding the spot to capture any cancer cells that may be lingering nearby. Mohs treatment is a very effective technique for treating the two most common types of skin cancer, which are basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Mohs is also known as micrographic surgery and is done in stages. Mohs is designed to leave the maximum amount of healthy skin intact while doing labs as cancerous skin is removed. This is often the treatment clients prefer, but it highly depends on where the removal is performed on the body. There are many techniques for treating early detected skin cancer, and working with an experienced dermatologist makes deciding a little bit easier. Knowing all treatment options and determining what’s best is a personal decision.
Take charge of your skin and body’s health and, more importantly, your future. If you find a spot on your skin, see an experienced skin-cancer screening dermatologist. If you are in Atlanta, contact Dr. Sherry Straughn at Buckhead Dermatology. The best dermatologist in the area, she and her staff can walk you through the process. If you are not in the Atlanta area, find a professional and reputable local dermatology office that can do a skin cancer screening. Taking care of yourself is a priority. Doing regular home exams is an easy and proactive way to identify anything unusual on your skin. The next step is bringing anything you find to the professionals for a closer look. Remember, 99 percent of skin cancer cases can be treated effectively when detected and treated early!