Understanding Skin Cancer
At Allen Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center, we’re dedicated to providing each and every one of our patients with the professional treatment & care that they deserve. Using the most advanced treatment technology and procedures, paired with personalized care from our doctors and staff, we ensure that our patients are comfortable throughout the entire treatment process. We offer a wide range of skin cancer treatment options, with Drs. Allen & Hall creating personalized treatment plans for our patients that meet their individual needs.
The first steps in treating skin cancer are gathering an understanding the different types of skin cancer there are, and what treatment options are available to you.
What Types of Skin Cancer Are There?
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
This is the most common type of skin cancer, with over 4 million cases being diagnosed in the U.S. each year according the Skin Cancer Foundation. BCC usually appears as a red patch, open sore, or a pink, shiny bump on the skin. These develop due to a combination of extreme sun exposure, and just general sun exposure over time to UV rays.
While BCC usually does not spread, in some rare cases it can spread to other parts of the body, such as your nerves and bones, becoming harmful & potentially life-threatening. Early diagnosis is key to ensuring that you receive proper treatment, and that it cannot spread.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
Another type of carcinoma but different from BCC, squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer with over 1 millions cases diagnosed in the U.S. each year. SCC can be identified as a firm red bump, a scaly patch of skin, or a sore that regularly hears and re-opens. SCC is caused by general UV exposure.
Early diagnosis is essential, since SCC can spread deep into the skin or to other parts of the body, potentially causing damage or disfigurement if not treated properly & in a timely manner.
Actinic Keratoses (AK)
While this is not technically skin cancer, it is a pre-cancerous growth or patch of your skin that could develop into skin cancer if not watched carefully & treated properly. AK appears as a dry, scaly patch of skin, and is caused by excessive sun exposure. It can be treated by your dermatologist to prevent it from developing into skin cancer, or the skin cancer can be caught early enough to treat it.
This is the deadliest form of skin cancer, killing over 10,000 people in the U.S. each year. The good news is that if caught early and treated, the cure rate for Melanoma is nearly 100%. The key in combating Melanoma & preventing the development of serious or even deadly skin cancer is being able to identify the early signs of it.
Melanoma usually develops in a mole, or start out looking similar to a mole as a dark colored spot on the skin. They are caused by sun & UV ray exposure and can quickly spread to other parts of the body, becoming much more difficult to treat and cure. In order to identify potential melanoma, just follow the “ABCDE’s of Melanoma” using the image below, provided by the American Academy of Dermatology:
Visit Allen Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center
If you have any questions about the types of skin cancer and the treatment options you have, just contact us at Allen Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center to speak with one of our experienced & friendly staff members. We proudly offer our services to Macon, GA and the surrounding areas.