Types of Skin Cancer Detected in a Skin Cancer Screening
Are you worried about a mole on your skin? Or noticed a sore that doesn’t seem to heal? Countless people are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer each year. Because some types of skin cancer can be fatal, early detection is crucial. Board Certified Dermatologist, Adean Kingston, M.D. has been performing comprehensive full-body skin cancer exams for over 15 years. She not only diagnoses skin cancer at its earliest stages but also treats skin cancer both medically and surgically. If a suspicious mole or lesion is found, she will offer a procedure called a skin biopsy to better elicit if it is cancerous and needs further treatment. She may also suggest monitoring a certain lesion or lesions and do photography to better record the appearance of the mole or spot for future evaluation.
How to detect skin cancer symptoms
You know your skin better than anyone else. This is why most medical professionals suggest performing regular self-examinations for early signs of skin cancer. When assessing your skin, take note of all existing moles and unusual lesions so you’ll know when and if any changes occur. Use a mirror and remember to check less-than-visible areas, such as the soles of your feet, back, and scalp.
Look out for any of the following skin cancer signs:
- A new mole or growth
- A change in size, shape, or color of an existing mole
- A sore that doesn’t heal
- Rough or scaly patches of skin that may be tender to touch
Types of skin cancer we detect
As part of your physical exam, Dr. Kingston will use a special magnifying lens and light source called a Dermatoscope to examine the lesion beneath the skin. If a mole or spot is suspicious, we may take a biopsy to remove all or part of the lesion. The biopsy is a minor procedure that requires numbing the area with lidocaine, so you feel comfortable during the process. The tissue is then sent to a Dermatopathologist to stain it and evaluate it under a microscope. Once we receive the pathology report, our staff will call you with the results and our recommended next steps.
During a skin cancer screening in Dallas, TX, we check for the following:
- Actinic Keratoses (AK): a precancerous lesion that may form on areas that have been exposed to UV rays. They appear as reddish, dry, and scaly patches and may feel tender to the touch.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC): can form anywhere on the body but usually occurs on the face, back and chest. This cancer may appear as a pink or a flesh-colored bump on the skin and may have a tendency to bleed. Basal Cell Carcinoma should be caught and treated early as it can grow into the nerves and invade muscle and bone causing significant destruction to tissue if left untreated.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): appears as scaly patches, firm and tender bumps, or sores that never fully heal. This type of skin cancer should be removed as soon as possible to prevent the spread of SCC to lymph nodes and other organs.
- Melanoma: may develop as an abnormal mole, as a dark spot on the skin, or as a pink papule. Because melanoma accounts for the majority of skin cancer deaths, it should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
How to prevent skin cancer
Awareness and prevention are the first lines of defense for all kinds of skin cancer. This includes wearing a broad-spectrum water-resistant sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher, when spending time outdoors and protecting your skin against harmful UV rays. Continue to perform self-exams as necessary and schedule annual full-body skin cancer exams at our clinic. If you have a personal or family history of skin cancer, you may need to come in more often for your exams.
Schedule a skin cancer screening
Discovering skin cancer is unfortunate, but you don’t have to face this diagnosis alone. The compassionate staff at Adean Kingston, M.D., PLLC, can walk you through every step of the process. If you are worried about a possible skin cancer spot, call us for an immediate appointment. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Adean Kingston is a specialist in the diagnosis and management of skin cancer and is known to perform very comprehensive full-body skin exams.