Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At Allure Dermatology in Hicksville, New York, board-certified dermatologist Theresa Durchhalter, DO, provides thorough skin cancer screenings and effective procedures to prevent and treat many types of skin cancer. Call Allure Dermatology, or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about skin cancer.
Skin cancer is an overgrowth of abnormal skin cells. The disease develops in the epidermis, the skin’s outermost layer, and can penetrate the deeper without treatment.
Mutations in the skin’s DNA lead to rapid mutations that cause skin cells to multiply at an alarming rate. These mutations eventually cause malignant (cancerous) tumors in the skin.
There are four types of skin cancer:
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type. It’s very slow-growing and develops in areas of the body exposed to the sun.
While basal cell carcinomas can develop nearly anywhere on the body, they’re particularly common on the face, scalp, chest, back, and shoulders. These lesions can appear as small red bumps, open sores, or flat, waxy marks.
Another common type of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinomas also develop in areas exposed to the sun, such as the chest, face, and scalp. These lesions appear as open sores or crusty, red patches of skin.
While squamous cell carcinomas are slow-growing, they can penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and spread to other areas of the body.
Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer that commonly metastasizes (spreads) to other areas of the body. Most melanomas stem from abnormal moles that change in appearance over time. A mole that darkens, changes shape, or develops asymmetrical borders can indicate melanoma.
Merkel cell carcinomas are rarer and even more aggressive than melanomas. They typically appear as hard, painless lumps on the head, neck, or even the eyelids.
A skin cancer screening is a comprehensive head-to-toe examination where Dr. Durchhalter checks for skin abnormalities, including non-healing sores and lesions and moles that change in shape, size, or color.
Dr. Durchhalter performs thorough skin cancer screenings in which she evaluates the scalp, eyes, genital area, and oral cavity. If she does find an abnormal lesion, she may recommend a biopsy, which she can perform in-office. For small lesions, Dr. Durchhalter may remove the entire growth.
To learn more about skin cancer, call Allure Dermatology, or schedule an appointment online today.