Posts for tag: Skin Cancer
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.
Although moles are usually harmless, in some cases they can become cancerous, causing melanoma. For this reason, it is important to regularly examine your skin for any moles that change in size, color, shape, sensation or that bleed. Suspicious or abnormal moles or lesions should always be examined by your dermatologist.
What to Look For
Remember the ABCDE's of melanoma when examining your moles. If your mole fits any of these criteria, you should visit your dermatologist as soon as possible.
- Asymmetry. One half of the mole does not match the other half.
- Border. The border or edges of the mole are poorly defined or irregular.
- Color. The color of the mole is not the same throughout or has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white or red.
- Diameter. The diameter of a mole is larger than the eraser of a pencil.
- Evolution. The mole is changing in size, shape or color.
Moles can appear anywhere on the skin, including the scalp, between the fingers and toes, on the soles of the feet and even under the nails. The best way to detect skin cancer in its earliest, most curable stage is by checking your skin regularly and visiting our office for a full-body skin cancer screening. Use this guide to perform a self-exam.
- Use a mirror to examine your entire body, starting at your head and working your way to the toes. Also be sure to check difficult to see areas, including between your fingers and toes, the groin, the soles of your feet and the backs of your knees.
- Pay special attention to the areas exposed to the most sun.
- Don't forget to check your scalp and neck for moles. Use a handheld mirror or ask a family member to help you.
- Develop a mental note or keep a record of all the moles on your body and what they look like. If they do change in any way (color, shape, size, border, etc.), or if any new moles look suspicious, visit your dermatologist right away.
Skin cancer has a high cure rate if detected and treated early. The most common warning sign is a visible change on the skin, a new growth, or a change in an existing mole. Depending on the size and location of the mole, dermatologists may use different methods of mole removal. A body check performed by a dermatologist can help determine whether the moles appearing on the body are pre-cancerous or harmless.