There are more than a million new cases of skin cancer in the United States each year, many of which are melanomas, the most worrying kind. Board-certified dermatologist Linda Honet, MD, FAAD, at Honet Dermatology and Cosmetic in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, has extensive experience in diagnosing and treating skin cancer and carrying out surgical excisions. To arrange a skin cancer screening or a checkup of a suspicious lesion, call Honet Dermatology and Cosmetic or request an appointment online today.
What is skin cancer?
Skin cancer is the leading type of cancer affecting people in the United States. It results from the growth of abnormal skin cells and can affect any part of your body. However, it often affects areas of skin that get the most exposure to the sun.
There are three main forms of skin cancer, each for a different layer of your skin:
Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and the type most likely to spread to other parts of your body. Melanoma affects the pigment cells in your skin and can form anywhere, not just places exposed to the sun. Melanoma is also the least common type of skin cancer.
What causes skin cancer?
Skin cancer develops when damage to your skin cell DNA causes the cells to grow out of control. Instead of dying and growing new cells as normal, cancerous skin cells don't die, but keep spreading, eventually forming tumors.
The DNA damage that causes skin cancer can be due to genetics in some cases. The primary cause of skin cancer, though, is ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation comes from exposure to the sun or tanning beds. The more you allow these UV rays to enter your skin, the higher your risk of developing skin cancer in the future.
What are the symptoms of skin cancer?
Skin cancer usually looks like a new blemish or a change in an existing blemish. Examples include:
Skin cancer often starts in an existing mole, and having moles is a risk factor for developing skin cancer. Moles might change their shape, size, or color, or start bleeding.
How is skin cancer treated?
Treatment for skin cancer usually involves removing the growth surgically. This is very effective and is a straightforward in-office procedure at Honet Dermatology and Cosmetic. Other options include:
You should check your body regularly for signs of skin cancer and reduce risk factors like overexposure to the sun, use of tanning beds, and smoking.
If you're concerned about skin cancer, call Honet Dermatology and Cosmetic or request an appointment online today.