The Signs of Skin Cancer
Over five million cases of skin cancer are treated each year according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, making it the most common form of this disease. However, it is also very treatable when identified, diagnosed, and addressed early. Know the potential signs of skin cancer to increase the chance of early detection by dermatologist Dr. Jennifer DeBlieck at DeBlieck Dermatology in Boise, ID.
Monitoring Mole Changes
Moles are very common—the vast majority of Americans have them. But when a mole that has been the same for years starts to change in appearance, size, or sensation that is a point of concern. There is a reliable way to check for mole changes that may indicate a sign of an abnormality. Check for:
- Asymmetry (the mole isn’t symmetrical on both sides).
- Border (irregular edges).
- Color (different colors on the mole).
- Diameter (an enlarged mole).
- Evolving appearance of the mole.
Other signs to look out for include sores that don’t heal, ooze, and are very painful. Also, when strange growths, bumps, or spots suddenly appear on the skin, that is something you should discuss with your Boise, ID dermatologist.
Risk Factors to Consider
It’s also a good idea to keep some important risk factors in mind when considering the health of your skin and possible signs of skin cancer. For instance, patients who have lighter skin are at a higher risk due to lack of protective melanin. Patients who spend a lot of time in the sun, whether for work or pleasure, or who use tanning beds should also get examined regularly.
Skin Cancer Treatments
In the very early stages, a cancerous skin growth can be removed using a relatively simple in-office surgical procedure. After removing all traces of abnormal cells, the sore must then be monitored closely to ensure proper healing. More advanced cases may require surgery under anesthesia or a referral to a specialist for radiation and immunotherapy.
Early Treatment Is Best
Patients who have a family or personal history of skin cancer should go to regular skin exams and seek treatments at the first signs of a potential issue. Call (208) 939-5030 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jennifer DeBlieck at DeBlieck Dermatology in Boise, ID.