Today there are three general categories of skin cancers. These are
It is widely recognized that all three cancer types are associated with above-average exposure to the sun. Even tanning beds are associated with delivery of harmful UVB light which predisposes to these cancers. The cancer can develop on any part of the skin which has been exposed to the sun. Most commonly they are found on the face, neck, arns and hands.
Lesions on the skin which are enlarging, elevated, scaly, ulcerated, pigmented dark brown, black, or blueish in color, should be checked by a specialist. All forms can be excised and cured if in an early stage. However, delay in diagnosis and treatment can lead to spread, deformity, and even death.
Actinic keratoses are scaly lesions that are not cancers, but can become cancer. They start small, are also associated with sun exposure (“actinic”), and form a hard cap that can sometimes be picked off.
Actinic keratosis are easily cured with removal by laser, freezing, or excision.
Head and neck cancers are cancers that start in mouth, nose, throat, or sinus areas. They do not include brain cancer. Head and neck cancers usually begin in the cells that make up the moist, thin tissue that lines the inside of the mouth, nose, and throat. Head and neck cancers are more common in men. Smoking and chewing tobacco raise your risk for this type of cancer, particularly if you drink alcohol.
Some of these symptoms that persist can be an early warning sign. If you have any of these 5 warning signs, you may need an evaluation. Please call our office for an appointment. Also, remember to bring a referral if your insurance company requires one.