Our office is well versed in the many different skin cancers an individual can be diagnosed with. We are ready and willing to assist in treatment of an individual following an exam. We recommend each patient who is concerned about their skin undergo a full skin exam in order for Dr. Reed to evaluate any worrisome abnormalities or lesions.
Often Basal Cell Carcinomas are simply referred to as BCC’s, and their name is derived from the location of the condition. BCC’s are abnormal lesions that grow uncontrollably in the basal cells of the skin which reside in the epidermis at the deepest layer. They typically have the appearance of pink growths, shiny bumps, patches that are red in color, or have the appearance of open sores. The main source in the development of this condition is a combination of intense UV exposure coupled with the cumulative effect of exposure to UV occasionally in day to day life.
BCC is the most common skin cancer that a person can develop, and often is the least serious of the varying types. While BCC can be very disfiguring if allowed to spread uncontrolled, the disease is known to very rarely spread. Local invasion can be progressive and could potentially lead to fatality if BCC’s are neglected.
Squamous Cell Carcinomas, SCCs, are next in line as the most common skin cancer condition to develop in the skin. Much like BCCs above, the condition is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the skin. SCC is located in the uppermost layers of the skin however, and has a different set of identifying markers. Contrary to BCC, SCC tends to develop scaly red patches on the skin, and can also grow a series of elevated ‘craters’ (resembling warts with a central depression) or nodules.
SCC has the same root cause as BCC above, being a cancer that develops as a result of UV exposure. SCC can occur anywhere on the body that has been exposed to sun, including the genitals. The areas that most frequently develop SCC however are the ear rims, the face, hairless scalp, and on the arms, legs and hands of a person. The affected areas will have already developed common signs of sun damage. Known signs of sun damage are wrinkling and thinning of the flesh in exposed areas.
Malignant Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, and develops as a result of unrepaired damage to skin cells mutating. When this mutation takes on the form of damaged cells quickly reproducing in the affected area, the area becomes what is known as a malignant tumor. Often the dangerous sites of this disease have a starting form that appears similar to a common mole albeit with a few changes.
If this condition is diagnosed early, and subsequently treated early, it is a readily curable disease. If left untreated or undetected melanoma has the potential to spread to other areas of the body resulting in potential fatality. While this is one of the less common skin cancers, it is still a fairly common cancer particularly among younger females who frequent tanning salons.
Many aspects of skin cancers are readily treatable in our office. We routinely do and recommend skin cancer screenings for all our patients. If a suspicious lesion is detected, a simple and relatively painless biopsy can be performed und local anesthesia.