Have you ever looked at your skin and noticed an abnormally shaped mole that was not previously there? Spotting an irregularity can mean possibly saving your life from skin cancer. If you have any reason to question the changing growth’s effect on your health or wellbeing, then you should have it checked out by a professional right away. Of course not all abnormal skin growths are cancerous, but it is better to be safe than sorry in a situation like this.
Although there are many types of skin cancer, Melanoma is one of the most dangerous due to its quick ability to spread throughout the body. Melanoma has been scientifically proven as one of the fastest growing cancers. It invades underlying tissues and spreads to organs with far greater speed than a basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma. While there is extensive information available to the public about prevention and screening, there is less momentum among the public to be screened for skin cancers when they don’t understand how serious they can be. The fact is that melanoma grows quickly and is a very invasive cancer. The most recent statistics available from the American Cancer Society reveal that about 87,110 new melanoma cases will be diagnosed in 2017 and that abut 9,730 people are expected to die from it.
One of the methods promoted across the medical profession is patient screening through an annual skin check, which we suggest making part of your health maintenance regimen. Your first visit would involve a visual examination of the epidermis, where you should mention to your dermatologist any growths you may have found abnormal. While the appointment and the examination do not prevent skin cancers, early detection can prevent the need for extensive or multiple treatments to eradicate the cancer in the future. Early detection coupled with today’s treatment methods could potentially stop the cancer from spreading to vital organs. This fact alone is one of the best motivators for your annual skin check.
Common things to look out for when checking moles, blemishes, lumps, sores and other various markings on your skin are changes in size, shape, or color. Changes can also include irritation or swelling. Each marking is different and it is important to talk to your doctor about each finding. Also, if a skin growth that has been present even from birth, suddenly begins to change, schedule an appointment to discuss the changes.
The most frequent areas to develop a cancerous growth are those areas of the body that have received excessive exposure to damaging UV rays. Although the risk for melanoma increases as you age, there is still a high risk for younger people, even those under 35 years old. Melanoma rates have been rising for the past 35 years and will most likely continue to increase. This is another reason the experts at Windsor Dermatology urge the public to have a yearly skin check. The time spent scheduling and going to your annual skin check is surely worth it. If a growth is discovered, your dermatologist will ask to take a biopsy or small skin sample of the growth to analyze for the presence of cancerous cells.
No matter your skin care needs; Windsor Dermatology will work to solve your problem. We have an excellent team of six board certified dermatologists that take pride in their work and strives for the highest quality care. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about the services we offer.