Joel Schlessinger MD shares tips and tricks on how to spot skin cancerMore than two million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers and early detection is the key to survival. The easiest way to avoid becoming part of this statistic is to protect your skin and know how to identify areas of concern. In this blog post, Joel Schlessinger MD will explain how you can spot skin cancer in its early stages.

There are several types of skin cancer and some are more dangerous than others, Joel Schlessinger MD shares.

The types of skin cancer include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. All of these types of skin cancer are serious diseases, but some are more dangerous than others.

Actinic keratosis is a pre-cancerous lesion that is characterized by red or pink scaly patches on the skin. This can be a precursor to squamous cell carcinoma, a more serious form of skin cancer.

Basal cell carcinoma is identified by raised, waxy pink bumps that may bleed or feel tender to the touch. This type of skin cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body but is very invasive to the location of the mole.

Squamous cell carcinoma usually has dull red, scaly and rough raised lesions on the skin. These lesions occur frequently on the areas of the skin that are most exposed to the sun.

Melanoma is one of the most dangerous types of skin cancer. Although only 4 percent of diagnosed skin cancer cases are melanoma, this deadly type accounts for 77 percent of all skin cancer deaths.

Self examination and yearly checkups are important to catching skin cancer, Joel Schlessinger MD says.

If diagnosed and treated early, skin cancer is easily cured. A monthly self examination and a yearly checkup with your dermatologist can alert you to changes in your skin and prevent the spread of skin cancer.

A change in a mole or growth is generally the first sign of skin cancer, Joel Schlessinger says. Look for signs of change over time including bleeding, irritation, itching or dark coloration.

Since melanoma is the most dangerous and aggressive type of skin cancer, it is important to examine your moles and birthmarks using the ABCDE rule, which can help spot the early signs of melanoma:

  • Asymmetry
  • Borders with irregular edges
  • Color is varied from one area to another
  • Diameter is larger than a pencil eraser
  • Evolving over time, changing in size, shape or color

Even if you are diligent about looking for changes in your skin, it is still essential to make a yearly appointment with a board-certified dermatologist like Joel Schlessinger MD. These experts are uniquely qualified to recognize, evaluate and treat skin cancers, ensuring the earliest possible detection.

Do you have questions about skin cancer for Joel Schlessinger MD? Share with us in the comments.

Posted Monday, August 25th, 2014 at 11:14 pm
Filed Under Category: Dermatology, Skin Cancer, Skin Care
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