Posts for tag: Skin Cancer
According to current statistics, in the U.S., more than 9,500 receive a skin cancer diagnosis every day. Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent this condition, with the most critical being a thorough cancer screening. At The Belleville Dermatology Center, Dr. Joseph S. Eastern is committed to saving the lives of his Belleville, NJ, patients through these services—read on to learn more.
Preventing Skin Cancer
At The Belleville Dermatology Center, Dr. Eastern follows the Skin Cancer Foundation's guidelines for preventing this disease. For example, you should do the following to reduce your risk:
- Avoid the use of UV tanning beds
- Seek the shade between 10 AM and 4 PM
- Examine your skin head-to-toe every month
- Visit your dermatologist annually for a professional exam
- Cover up with long-sleeved clothing when exposed to the sun
What is Skin Cancer Screening?
It's necessary to receive routine skin cancer screenings even if you're asymptomatic. It's especially advised by a dermatologist if you've had excessive radiation exposure, past sunburns, don't wear sunscreen regularly, or have a weakened immune system or family history of the disease. When you visit our Belleville, NJ, office for your appointment, you can expect Dr. Eastern to examine the skin for unusual moles, birthmarks, or other signs of abnormalities such as a change in size, shape, color, or texture. If any concerns are suspected, he will develop a treatment plan best suitable for your needs.
Skin cancer takes on several different forms, but melanoma is the most dangerous type. Cancer screenings are non-invasive and could potentially save your life. Some people are at a higher risk than others, and you should never neglect signs or symptoms. For more information about cancer screenings, conditions we treat, and other services provided at The Belleville Dermatology Center, visit our website. For appointment scheduling with Dr. Joseph S. Eastern in our Belleville, NJ, office, please call (973) 751-1200.
With the warmer months just around the corner you may be getting ready to plan some fun in the sun. The summertime always finds children spending hours outside playing, as well as beach-filled family vacations, backyard barbeques, and more days just spent soaking up some much-needed vitamin D.
While it can certainly be great for our emotional and mental well-being to go outside, it’s also important that we are protecting our skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. These are some habits to follow all year long to protect against skin cancer,
Wear Sunscreen Daily
Just because the sun isn’t shining doesn’t mean that your skin isn’t being exposed to the harmful UVA and UVB rays. The sun’s rays have the ability to penetrate through clouds. So it’s important that you generously apply sunscreen to the body and face about 30 minutes before going outside.
Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that also protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Everyone should use sunscreen, even infants. Just one sunburn during your lifetime can greatly increase your risk for developing skin cancer, so always remember to lather up!
Reapply Sunscreen Often
If you are planning to be outdoors for a few hours you’ll want to bring your sunscreen with you. After all, one application won’t be enough to protect you all day long. A good rule of the thumb to follow is, reapply sunscreen every two hours. Of course, you’ll also want to apply sunscreen even sooner if you’ve just spent time swimming or if you’ve been sweating a lot (e.g. running a race or playing outdoor sports).
Seek Shade During the Day
While feeling the warm rays of the sun on your shoulders can certainly feel nice, the sun’s rays are at their most powerful and most dangerous during the hours of 10am-4pm. If you plan to be outdoors during these times it’s best to seek shady spots. This means enjoying lunch outside while under a wide awning or sitting on the beach under an umbrella. Even these simple measures can reduce your risk for skin cancer.
See a Dermatologist
Regardless of whether you are fair skinned, have a family history of skin cancer or you don’t have any risk factors, it’s important that everyone visit their dermatologist at least once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening. This physical examination will allow our skin doctor to be able to examine every growth and mole from head to toe to look for any early signs of cancer. These screenings can help us catch skin cancer early on when it’s treatable.
Noticing changes in one of your moles? Need to schedule your next annual skin cancer screening? If so, a dermatologist will be able to provide you with the proper care you need to prevent, diagnose and treat both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
Skin cancer affects more adults in the U.S. than any other type of cancer. Early detection of skin cancer can result in a better prognosis since treatment can begin early before cancer spreads. One way to detect skin cancer early is by undergoing a skin cancer screening regularly. At The Belleville Dermatology Center in Belleville, skin cancer screenings are performed by Dr. Joseph Eastern and our dermatology staff.
What are the risk factors for skin cancer?
There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing skin cancer, such as having a weakened immune system. Everyone should undergo an annual skin cancer screening, but it is especially critical for patients with any of the following risk factors:
- Family history of skin cancer
- History of past sunburns
- Excessive sun exposure
- History of using tanning beds
- Not using sunscreen regularly
- Having several moles on the skin
- Having fair skin
How can skin cancer screenings help?
Skin cancer screenings at our Belleville dermatology practice can help save your life. All skin cancer is serious, but some types are especially of concern. For example, melanoma is a rare type of skin cancer but is the most deadly. During a skin cancer screening, our dermatologist looks for possible signs of skin cancer. The earlier skin cancer is detected, the sooner treatment can begin and the easier it is to stop cancer from spreading.
What signs do you look for during a skin cancer screening?
There are several signs our dermatologist looks for when conducting a skin cancer screening. These signs can be an indication that skin cancer might be present. If you have had regular screenings, one sign that will be looked for is any change in your skin since your last screening. Other signs the dermatologist will look for include:
- Changes in the size, shape, or color of existing moles
- The formation of new moles on the skin
- Sudden itching or bleeding of existing moles
- The development of speckled brown spots on the skin
- Patches of pink or red scaly lesions on the skin
- Waxy, translucent cone-shaped growths on the skin
- Black or brown streaks under the fingernails or toenails
What happens if skin cancer is suspected during a screening?
If any signs of possible skin cancer are observed during a skin cancer screening, a biopsy can be performed to determine if cancer cells are present. If cancer is present, then a course of treatment will be recommended. Different treatment options are available and the appropriate course of treatment can depend on the type of skin cancer, as well as the seriousness of it. Skin cancer treatments include prescription medicated creams, radiation therapy, surgical excision, curettage and desiccation, cryosurgery, and Mohs micrographic surgery.
Undergoing skin cancer screenings regularly helps with early detection of the disease. Early detection is important for stopping the cancer from spreading. For skin cancer screenings in Belleville, NJ, schedule an appointment with Dr. Eastern by calling The Belleville Dermatology Center at (973) 751-1200.
Too much exposure to sunlight can be harmful to your skin. Dangerous ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays damage skin, which leads to premature wrinkles, skin cancer and other skin problems. People with excessive exposure to UV radiation are at greater risk for skin cancer than those who take careful precautions to protect their skin from the sun.
Sun Exposure Linked to Cancer
Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, including melanoma. To limit your exposure to UV rays, follow these easy steps.
- Avoid the mid-day sun, as the sun's rays are most intense during 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remember that clouds do not block UV rays.
- Use extra caution near water, snow and sand.
- Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps which emit UVA and UVB rays.
- Wear hats and protective clothing when possible to minimize your body's exposure to the sun.
- Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 to your exposed skin. Re-apply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and area around your eyes.
Everyone's skin can be affected by UV rays. People with fair skin run a higher risk of sunburns. Aside from skin tone, factors that may increase your risk for sun damage and skin cancer include:
- Previously treated for cancer
- Family history of skin cancer
- Several moles
- Typically burn before tanning
- Blond, red or light brown hair
If you detect unusual moles, spots or changes in your skin, or if your skin easily bleeds, make an appointment with our practice. Changes in your skin may be a sign of skin cancer. With early detection from your dermatologist, skin cancers have a high cure rate and response to treatment. Additionally, if you want to reduce signs of aged skin, seek the advice of your dermatologist for a variety of skin-rejuvenating treatment options.
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. More that two million people in the U.S. are afflicted by skin cancer each year, and that number is only rising. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, accounting for approximately 75 percent of skin cancer deaths.
Skin cancer can be deadly, but it is also very curable when detected early. Along with proper prevention and sun protection, you should examine your body regularly to check for any suspicious spots or changes as they develop.
When You Spot It You Can Stop It
Early detection of skin cancer can save your life. Self-examine your skin regularly, at least once a month, to look for unusual skin changes. Visiting your dermatologist routinely is also helpful, as they can do a full-body exam to make sure existing spots are normal. Regular self-exams should become a habit. It only takes a few minutes, and this small investment could save your life.
Warning Signs: What to Look For
By regularly examining your body, you can detect skin cancer in its earliest stages. Notify your dermatologist immediately if you identify any of the following symptoms:
- A skin growth that appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black or multicolored
- A mole, birthmark or any spot that: changes color, increases in size or thickness, changes in texture or is irregular in outline
- A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, scab, crust or bleed
- An open sore that does not heal within a few weeks
- A change in sensation, such as itchiness, tenderness or pain
A suspicious spot may be nothing, but its better to be safe than sorry. Always consult your dermatologist or physician if you notice any changes in your skin that seem abnormal.
ABCD’s of Skin Cancer Detection
As a good reminder, follow the ABCD rule as a guide for detecting skin cancer. Any of the below symptoms warrant a call to your dermatologist.
- Asymmetry: One half of a mole or spot doesn’t match the other half.
- Border: The edges of a mole are irregular or blurred.
- Color: The mole’s color or pigmentation is not uniform and/or has shades of brown, black, white, red or blue.
- Diameter: The spot or mole is larger than ¼ inch or 6 mm, approximately the size of a pencil eraser.
Skin cancer can be life-threatening, but it is also very preventable and treatable. Start taking care of your skin now by recognizing the early signs of skin cancer and protecting your skin from the sun.