When it comes to fighting skin cancer, prevention and early detection are the best defense
What is skin cancer?
Skin cancer is a malignant tumor that grows in the skins cells. In the U.S. alone, more than 3.5 million skin cancers are diagnosed each year which is more than all other cancers combined. And the incidence is steadily rising. It is estimated that one in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
Overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays is causes more skin cancer than any other factor, and protecting yourself from the sun is one of the most important things you can do to prevent skin cancer.
Asymmetry: When half of the mole does not match the other half
Border: When the border (edges) of the mole are ragged or irregular
Color: When the color of the mole is not the same all over; you may see shades of brown or black, sometimes with areas of pink, red, white, or blue
Diameter: If the mole's diameter is larger than a pencil's eraser
The good news is if skin cancer is caught early and properly treated, it can be cured. Treatment options include:
X-rays are a non-invasive way to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation can be used for lesions anywhere on the body, including delicate areas on the face.
Some types of skin cancer growths can be removed very easily and require only very minor surgery, while others may require a more extensive surgical procedure.
This procedure removes the cancer and as little normal tissue as possible. During this surgery, the surgeon removes the cancer and then uses a microscope to look at the edges of the tumor to make sure no cancer cells remain.
Chemotherapy administered orally or intravenously (IV) for more advanced cancers.
There are three main types of skin cancer:
Basal cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma
If you notice anything out of the ordinary, call your doctor right away. To find a Meridian physician or register for a free skin cancer screening, call 1-800-DOCTORS or visit our community events calendar.
Meridian Cancer Care provides comprehensive and up-to-date treatment for all melanoma patients. Our team is fully equipped to help you with all of your questions about melanoma and provide the most complete and comprehensive care available.
Watch John Gibbs, M.D. speak about skin cancer, prevention and protection on NJTV.
At Meridian, we believe the best way to treat you comes through the partnership and collaboration of our highly skilled multi-disciplinary team – and you. For skin cancers, your team may include the following: