Posts for tag: Skin Cancer
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.
How your dermatologist in Belleville, NJ, can help you find out about skin cancer
Do you have fair skin? Do you spend a lot of time out in the sun? Most importantly, do you apply sunscreen when you are outdoors? These are all important questions for you to ask yourself. You can definitely benefit from a skin cancer screening. Dr. Joseph S. Eastern at The Belleville Dermatology Center in Belleville, NJ, can diagnose and treat skin cancer and other skin conditions.
Skin color, time spent in the sun, and whether you regularly use sunscreen are all important factors in determining your risk of developing skin cancer. There are other signs too, including the appearance of moles and other skin issues.
You can definitely benefit from a skin cancer screening if you have moles that are:
- Not well-defined, with irregular borders
- Larger than 6 millimeters in diameter
- Asymmetrically or irregularly shaped
- Itchy, painful, swollen, or red
- New, or recurring after previous removal
Your dermatologist will examine your moles during a skin cancer screening and determine if any should be removed and potentially biopsied. The appearance of moles can suggest skin cancer, but the only way to know for sure is by examining the tissue during a biopsy.
Remember that you can do a lot to prevent skin cancer. You should always wear a sunscreen of at least SPF 15 or higher, and SPF 30 or higher if you are outside for long periods of time. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to overlooked areas like the bridge of your nose, the tops of your ears, and your lips.
Skin cancer can be a scary diagnosis, but if it is caught early with a skin cancer screening, treatment can be started quickly, which can lead to a better outcome for you. To find out more about prevention, screening, and treatment of skin cancer, call Dr. Joseph S. Eastern at The Belleville Dermatology Center in Belleville, NJ. Learn more about skin cancer by calling today!
Annual skin cancer screenings are important for early detection of skin cancer. Cancer screenings are especially important if skin cancer runs in your family or if you have spent extended time in the sun over the years. Even if your risk of developing skin cancer is low, regular screenings are still beneficial as skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. At the Belleville Dermatology Center, Dr. Joseph Eastern is your dermatologist for skin cancer screening in Belleville, NJ.
Skin Cancer Screenings
The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that one in five people in the U.S. will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Since skin cancer is also the most common type of cancer in the U.S., the fact that one out of every five people will develop it underscores the importance of undergoing annual skin cancer screenings.
In Belleville, skin cancer screenings are quick and painless. The dermatologist inspects the skin on the entire body, including the face, arms, legs, and torso. The skin on the scalp is checked, as well. While examining the skin, the dermatologist looks for suspicious moles or growths, as well as changes to existing moles since your last screening. The growth of new moles and changes in the shape, color, and texture of existing moles can all be indications of possible skin cancer. Risk factors for developing skin cancer include:
- Family history of skin cancer
- Several moles all over the body
- Extensive sun exposure at any time
- Extensive use of tanning beds
- Not applying sunscreen regularly
- History of sunburns
- Having fair skin
- A weakened immune system
- Exposure to radiation
Whether you have any of the risk factors associated with developing skin or not, annual skin cancer screenings are important for everyone since skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. Annual skin cancer screenings are especially critical if you do have some of the risk factors, though. To schedule your next cancer screening with Dr. Eastern, your dermatologist for skin cancer screenings in Belleville, call The Belleville Dermatology Center at (973) 751-1200.