If you could see a car speeding toward you, would you leap out of the way? Of course, you would. But if you knew the signs of skin cancer, would you recognize them well enough and the be able to do something about them?
Board-certified dermatologists Joseph N. Myers Jr. MD, FAAD and James G. Simpson MD, FAAD want their Charleston area patients to keep an eye out for skin cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, skin cancer afflicts one in 5 American adults at some point in their lives. Additionally, squamous and basal cell carcinomas, and even the more aggressive and deadly malignant melanoma, sport high cure rates when diagnosed and treated at their earliest stages.
What to Look For
Drs. Myers and Simpson advise patients to look at their skin monthly, including the scalp, armpits, and between the toes. Adults over 40 should schedule a yearly skin examination at Magnolia Dermatology. At home, individuals can check for:
- spots that bleed
- sores that are slow to heal or that recur
- cone-shaped, pearl-like growths
- large brown spots that have a mottled appearance
- scaly pink or red lesions
Beyond that, dermatologists advise employing these ABCDEs - the warning signs of melanoma:
A - Asymmetry: If a skin spot is larger or colored differently on one side than the other, check with your primary care physician or dermatologist.
B - Border: Harmless lesions have well-defined borders. Skin cancer does not. The edges may be irregular or scalloped.
C - Color: Benign spots exhibit the same color throughout their surfaces. Melanoma, however, shows varying shades of tan, brown and black or even red, white and blue.
D - Diameter: Cancerous moles often measure 6 mm or more in diameter - about the size of a typical pencil eraser.
E - Evolving: If a freckle or mole changes in size, shape or color, or if it itches, oozes or acts differently in any way, consult a physician.
Your Skin Tells a Story
At Magnolia Dermatology, the experienced staff understands that your skin speaks volumes about your age, health, and overall well-being, too. Because skin cancer is prevalent in Charleston and across the country, Doctors Myers and Simpson want their patients to know the warning signs.
If you would like to learn more, have a question about your skin, or wish to schedule a routine exam, contact Magnolia Dermatology LLC for a personal consultation: (843) 769-2100.