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What Is Skin Cancer? What You Should Know

Cancer continues to become the leading cause of death worldwide. Skin cancer is among the most common types of cancer. About one in every five people in the United States has skin cancer.

Skin cancer can affect any person despite their race or skin color. Usually, skin cancer occurs due to ultraviolet radiation exposure. You can prevent skin cancer through skin cancer screenings in Fort Worth, which can also help you receive early treatment if detected. Consult Northstar Dermatology to learn more.

What Is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is the uncontrollable growth in your skin cells caused mainly by ultraviolet light. There are three types of skin cancer, including:

  • Melanoma.
  • Basal cell carcinoma.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma.

The regular types of skin cancer are basal and squamous cell carcinoma. They usually develop slowly, unlike melanoma that overgrows and is among the most deadly types of cancer.

  1. Basal cell carcinoma starts at the basal cells. Basal cells produce new skin cells when the old ones die. This cancer usually appears as a transparent bump on the skin, though it can also occur in other forms. It is often common in areas exposed to the sun, like the head and neck.
  2. Squamous cell carcinoma skin cancer develops on the squamous cells found on the middle and the outer skin layers. Though it is not risky, it can spread to other body parts when left untreated, causing severe complications.

Who Should Go for Skin Cancer Screenings?

Skin cancer screenings benefit everyone. It is advisable for patients at a higher risk of skin cancer to schedule an extensive skin cancer screening for the whole body.

Some of the aspects that may increase your risk of skin cancer include:

  • Family history of skin cancer.
  • Light skin tone.
  • Numerous moles.
  • Freckled skin.
  • Red or blonde hair.
  • Blue or green eyes.
  • History of frequent sunburns.
  • Overexposure to the sun.
  • Precancerous skin lesions.
  • Weak immune system.
  • Moles.
  • Exposure to certain substances like arsenic.

What Happens During Skin Cancer Screenings?

Skin cancer screening at Northstar Dermatology involves a full-body examination to prevent and manage skin cancer. During your appointment, you change into an exam gown, then your provider examines your whole body, checking for moles or any abnormal growths.

What Happens After Skin Cancer Screening?

After your screening, your provider evaluates your findings. In case of abnormal skin lesions, your provider will conduct a biopsy to confirm the results. You may require more diagnostic tests to determine the stage of your cancer.

If you have skin cancer, your provider may recommend different treatments depending on the type of skin cancer and its extent, including:

  • Mohs surgery.
  • Radiation therapy.
  • Excisional surgery.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Biological therapy.
  • Photodynamic therapy.

Your doctor also gives you some of the preventive measures that you can apply to protect your skin, such as:

  • Wearing sunglasses.
  • Applying sunscreen.
  • Protective clothing while in the sun like a broad-brimmed hat.
  • Avoiding being in the sun during peak hours like midday.
  • Avoid tanning beds.

Your dermatology specialist may also recommend at-home skin screening to ensure you are aware of your skin and identify any abnormalities.

Talk to a Dermatologist Today

Regular skin cancer screenings help maintain your skin health and provide early cancer treatments preventing severe complications. Contact Northstar Dermatology today to schedule your screening appointment.

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