Skin Cancer Awareness

Skin Cancer Awareness

Skin cancer is the most common cancer with one in five Americans developing it sometime in their lives.   There are three main types of skin cancer.  Basal cell carcinoma is the most common, followed by squamous cell carcinoma and lastly malignant melanoma.  Although anyone can develop skin cancer, it is more common in people with light skin and hair, blue or green eyes and  people who sunburn easily.

Basal cell carcinoma is most commonly found in sun exposed areas and will often present as either a red pearly bump, a scaly itchy area or a lesion that bleeds or doesn’t heal.  These cancers can be easily treated with surgery.  Some can even be treated with a cream. It is our purpose at North Atlanta Dermatology to be sure that you receive the best cosmetic result possible.
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and can be found anywhere on the sin, including the palms, soles, genital area, and mucous membranes.  It is most commonly found on legs in women and the back in men.

Anyone can develop melanoma but the highest risk factors are:

  • More than 100 moles
  • A relative with melanoma
  • A tendency to burn
  • Red hair and freckles
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Tanning bed use
  • Previous skin cancers

skin cancer awareness

Early detection is the key to survival which is why we recommend yearly skin exams for all of our patients.  Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are very curable when treated early.  Melanoma is a more serious cancer and can be deadly if not caught and treated early.  Patients are encouraged to do monthly skin exams at home and follow up sooner for any new or changing mole.
We recommend daily sun protection with an SPF of at least 30 and broad-spectrum coverage (UVA/UVB), sun-protective clothing, sun guard laundry detergent, and oral heliocare.