Skin can happen as a result of repeated sun or tanning bed exposure, particularly on people with fair skin. Those with a family history of skin cancer are at particular risk for developing it as well. However, determining the type of skin cancer that's affecting you is of utmost importance, which is why it's important to contact Hecker Dermatology Group in Tamarac, FL if you notice any abnormalities in your skin. Talk to your dermatologists, Drs. Melanie and David Hecker to discuss the three main types of skin cancer in order of prevalence.
Basal cell carcinoma
These skin cancers are extremely common, making up about 32% of all cancer diagnosed throughout the world. Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) often present as a shiny nodule, or bump, but they may also look like a red patch on the skin that may or may not include an ulcerated sore. Although BCC can damage healthy tissue surrounding it, or can harbor secondary infections, it almost always remains superficial and never metastasizes, or spreads to other organs in the body. Your Tamarac dermatologist typically removes these skin cancers surgically or by applying a freezing agent.
Squamous cell carcinoma
SCCs account for about 20% of skin cancers, making them less common than BCC. They often develop on the face as a hard, elevated lump with a depression in the center; an ulceration may form. Although SCC grows slowly, it is more likely to spread to the lymph nodes, which is why it's so important to make an appointment with your Tamarac dermatologist if you have any concerns about a new skin growth. Treatment of SCC is similar to BCC, although surgery may be needed.
This type of skin cancer is the least common, but it can have serious consequences if it isn't detected early. There are several ways that melanoma can present itself - as an oddly-shaped freckle, a large, ulcerated sore, a black or purple nodule, or new features to an existing mole. Early diagnosis and swift removal is associated with a high cure rate; if a melanoma goes untreated, it can spread relatively quickly to the lymph nodes and other organs. The best way to combat melanoma is by making yearly skin checks with your Tamarac dermatologist a priority. Any suspicious lesions can be removed and evaluated immediately.
If you've developed a new, unexplained spot on your skin, or a mole you've had for a long time has changed over time, contact Hecker Dermatology Group, PA. Offices in Pompano Beach and Tamarac. Call 954-783-2323 or visit us on-line: www.HeckerDerm.com.