Skin cancer is on the rise, and statistics continue to show a rapid increase in the number of skin cancers diagnosed and treated each year.
It is for this very reason, that you should get a full-body skin examination with the dermatologist at least once a year. However, some high-risk populations including but not limited to patients with a previous and/or family history of skin cancer may even want to get a skin examination more often. The most common types of skin cancer are Basal cell carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, and Malignant melanoma.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common but tends to not cause serious long-term health consequences if treated quickly. It typically looks like a pink to red growth that can be “pearly” or smooth looking and tends not to regress on its own.
Squamous cell carcinoma tends to be more aggressive and can metastasize. It can commonly occur due to long term ultraviolet light exposure, but can also be triggered by other skin and underlying health conditions.
Malignant melanoma can be very aggressive and can be fatal if left untreated. It is important that you talk with your dermatologist about your risk for skin cancers and in particular malignant melanoma. Typically, melanoma can appear as enlarging brown or black moles that can have irregular borders, color and/or shapes. Though malignant melanoma is rare, it may occur within an existing mole or as a new mole.
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