What Is Skin Cancer, and What Are Some Effective Treatments?
Skin cancer is growth of abnormal cells due to mutations from DNA damage to the outermost skin layer. These rapidly proliferating cells form malignant tumors. While a cancer diagnosis can be scary, our Houston, Texas team can walk you through the treatment options available and help you learn more about how to prevent additional ones and how to recognize it.
What is skin cancer?
Skin cancers are the most common cancer in the US and worldwide. It is most often caused by the sun’s harmful UV light and using indoor UV tanning beds. These growths can present in many different ways- scaly patches, open sores, or growing bumps, most commonly on the sun exposed surfaces of the skin. They are malignant lesions which require removal. They can become locally destructive and if allowed to get large, they can metastasize to other areas of the body.
What are the most common types of skin cancer?
The three most common types of skin cancer are: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are the most common forms and typically have a good prognosis if caught early and treated promptly. Melanoma, although less common, is the most dangerous of the three and can be deadly if not caught early.
Is skin cancer deadly?
It can be. More than 2 people die of skin cancer every year in the US. Melanoma is the most aggressive and can become deadly if not treated. This is also why early detection is critical.
What can I do to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer?
It is critical that you protect your skin from excessive sun exposure and regularly check for any abnormal growths or changes in moles. Wearing sunscreen and avoiding tanning beds can also decrease your chances of developing skin cancer. Patients who are organ transplants have an increased risk as well, due to their weakened immune system. If you notice any unusual or non healing lesions on your skin, make sure to see one of our board-certified dermatologists at Houston Dermatology Associates for a skin check. Early detection is crucial for successful treatment and preventing the spread of cancer.
What are some treatment options that might be recommended for me after a skin cancer diagnosis?
After a skin cancer diagnosis, treatment options may include surgical removal of the growth, radiation therapy, or topical medications. Your doctor will work with you to create a personalized plan for treating your skin cancer and monitoring for any future skin cancers.
Please schedule an appointment at our practice today to learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer
Always prioritize caring for your skin and paying attention to any changes in moles or other areas of your body. Early detection is vital in successfully treating and preventing the spread of skin cancer. Visit Houston Dermatology Associates for a thorough evaluation.
Call (713) 790-0058 to request an appointment at our office in Scurlock Tower at 6560 Fannin Street, Suite #1720, in Houston, TX.