Did you know that most dermatologists and doctors recommend getting a yearly skin exam? Statistically, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer at least once in their lifetime—skin cancer happens to be the most common type of cancer. One reason why physicians recommend such regular upkeep is because skin cancer is treatable and manageable only if it’s caught early enough. Let’s look at a few more reasons why it’s important to get a yearly skin examination.
Some Are More Likely to Spread
The most common types of skin cancer are squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC), and both have a cure rate of about 95%. Another type of skin cancer, melanoma skin cancer is less common, but more likely to spread to other parts of the body, unless it’s found early. During the early stages, Melanoma growths are pretty small, and it can be treated by removal by a physician. One thing to keep in mind is that the deeper it is the more likely it has spread to the lymph nodes and a biopsy would be recommended.
Know Your A, B, C, D, and E’s
We’re not just talking about the alphabet; this is actually a guideline for self-screening for skin cancer symptoms. Anytime you check yourself, look for A for asymmetry, B for irregular borders, C for multiple colors, D for diameters greater than 6 millimeters, and E for evolving or changing shapes. You should also keep an eye out for rough spots on a patch of skin that’s normally exposed to the sun, or a sore that won’t heal or stop bleeding. It should be stressed that if you find any lesions that fit these descriptions, then immediately schedule an appointment with your physician—you don’t have to wait for your yearly screening to bring it up.
What Kinds of Treatments Are Available?
Usually, if skin cancer is caught early enough it can be treated by excision—also known as removal by surgery. Unfortunately, skin cancer removal can cause scarring and other imperfections on the skin. Lewis Plastic Surgery will not only help you remove and excise signs of cancer, but we can also reconstruct the resulting defects at the same time. We can even help you determine if any of your lesions are cancerous or have spread by getting a sample from a biopsy. If needed, we can also collaborate with other medical providers when it comes to your treatment.
Skin cancer is serious business—and you need to work with someone you can trust. At Lewis Plastic Surgery, you’ll find a holistic method of care that goes beyond medical treatment. Contact Lewis Plastic Surgery now for a consultation.