Spotting the Warning Signs of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Thousands are diagnosed with it every day, and it strikes people from all walks of life. The good news is skin cancer is rarely life-threatening if caught early. That's why it's vital to know the warning signs and how to deal with them.

Knowing the warning signs will only be half the battle. To best combat skin cancer, you’ll need a team with comprehensive experience and skills to help find the best treatment. For that, you’ll want Dr. Robert Chappell, JrDr. Richie Rosso, Jr., and the rest of our team at the Chappell Rosso Dermatology and Laser & Aesthetic Center.

What causes skin cancer?

Skin cancer usually develops from ultraviolet rays from the sun, despite it showing in areas not usually exposed to sunlight. Extensive time in tanning beds can also cause skin cancer along with skin lesions, moles, and a weakened immune system. People with lighter skin and those prone to sunburn have much higher chances of getting skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells, due to the UV rays damage. Once in your system, the cancer cells then develop and multiply. If unchecked, they can spread through the lymphatic system to other parts of the body.

What are the major types of skin cancer?

The three major types of skin cancer are:

Kaposi sarcoma is a lesser-known type of skin cancer that develops in the skin’s blood vessels. Merkel cell carcinoma is another type you might not be familiar with. This cancer forms just beneath the skin, hair follicles, and sebaceous gland carcinoma.

How do you detect skin cancer?

For basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma, you generally look for:

Not all skin cancers develop the same way, you should also look for:

In the case of melanoma, you would also look for mismatched birthmarks, moles with irregular edges, and discolored patches of skin.

Most forms of skin cancer are treatable if caught early. There are some basic measures you can take to protect yourself, such as avoiding sunlight during the day, wearing sunscreen year-round, wearing protective clothing when possible, and avoiding tanning beds.

If you have reason to think you show signs of skin cancer, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with our team at Chappell Rosso Dermatology and Laser & Aesthetic Center.

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