Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer among adults in the U.S, with about one out of every five adult Americans developing some form of it each year. Early detection of skin cancer offers the best prognosis for overcoming it, which is why it is so important to regularly check your skin for unusual changes and visit a dermatologist annually for a skin cancer screening. At Magnolia Dermatology in Charleston, SC, Dr. Joseph Myers is your dermatologist for skin cancer screenings and treatment.
Types of Skin Cancer
There are many different types of skin cancer. Two of the most common types to affect adult Americans are basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. Both types can develop due to chronic exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Another type of skin cancer is melanoma, which is actually the least common form but also the most deadly. In fact, it causes more deaths than any other type of skin cancer. Melanoma tends to be most prevalent among young adults in their mid to late twenties and develops as a result of extensive exposure to the sun or tanning beds.
Signs of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer signs can vary slightly among the different types of skin cancer. In general, though, any type of change in the skin is a potential skin cancer warning. Accordingly, anyone who observes a warning sign or change in the appearance of the skin should visit a dermatologist office such as Magnolia Dermatology. There, a dermatologist can perform a biopsy to determine if cancer cells are present. Some of the common signs of skin cancer include:
- Changes in the appearance of existing moles
- Sudden bleeding or itching of existing moles
- Speckled brown spots on the skin
- Patches of red or pink scaly lesions
- Waxy and translucent come-shaped growths
- Black or brown streaks under the nails
Skin Cancer Treatment Options
Several options are available for treating skin cancer, with each particular treatment being chosen on a basis of the type of skin cancer affecting a patient. At Magnolia Dermatology's Charleston office, skin cancer treatment options include:
- Mohs micrographic surgery — This method involves mapping the affected skin tissue in order to minimize the removal of healthy skin tissue.
- Radiation therapy — This method involves using radiation to target the affected area and kill cancer cells.
- Surgical excision — This method involves surgically removing a tumor from the skin.
- Cryosurgery — This is a method revolving around the action of freezing off a tumor using liquid nitrogen.
- Curettage and desiccation — This method involves scraping out a tumor, then applying an electric current to eliminate any remaining cancer cells.
- Prescription medicated creams — This option involves applying a cream to the skin to help stimulate the body’s immune system to target the cancer cells.
Concerned? Call our Charleston Office Today!
See a dermatologist for a skin cancer screening if you observe any of the common signs of skin cancer. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Myers, call Magnolia Dermatology at (843) 769-2100.