Skin Cancer Specialist
Danvers Family Doctors, P.C.
Family Medicine & Primary Care Practice
located in Danvers, MA
Skin Cancer Q & A
What Is It?
When a growth or tumor of abnormal skin cells begins to grow rapidly, this is known as skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma, the most common kind of skin cancer, grows on the skin’s surface layer. Squamous cell carcinoma, another common type of skin cancer, is found on the skin’s surface layer. Malignant melanomas and other types of skin cancer spread deeper into the body and skin.
What symptoms does basal cell carcinoma present?
A flat, red patch of dry or scaly skin can be indicative of basal cell carcinoma. It can also look like a birthmark or appear as a brown or black bump.
What symptoms does squamous cell carcinoma present?
Similar to basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma can manifest as a dry or scaly red patch on the skin. It may also manifest as a small bump that may bleed or crust over. A brown, scaly patch of skin can represent a squamous cell carcinoma in some instances.
What symptoms does malignant melanoma present?
Malignant melanomas can appear abruptly on the skin in the form of a mole. A malignant melanoma may cause an existing mole to expand rapidly in some instances. Color and shape can change in existing moles. A mole might also remain the same, but its border might become uneven.
Who is susceptible to skin cancer?
Skin cancer is more common in certain groups of people. Sunburn prone individuals, people with fair skin, and people with fair eyes may be at greater risk. A person’s risk of developing skin cancer may also be increased if they have a family history of the disease. Sun exposure, the other major risk factor, can be controlled by avoiding too much sun and wearing sun protection when outside.
What are the options for treating skin cancer?
Skin cancer can typically be treated very effectively when discovered early. Removal of the lesion is typically the most effective treatment for skin cancer. Because the cancer cells may also be in the skin surrounding the lesion, it is necessary to remove some of that as well. The area is completely numbed while the lesion is removed. The cancerous growth is removed with a small knife. Cryotherapy, which involves either burning or freezing the growth, and radiation are two additional options for treatment.