If left untreated skin cancer can be dangerous, even deadly. Fortunately, there are ways to cure skin cancer, especially if it is recognized and addressed in its early stages. It is important for you to know potential signs of skin cancer so you can see a dermatologist before it becomes harmful.
How is skin cancer diagnosed?
Skin cancer is typically marked by a new spot on the skin or changes to a mole or lesion that already exists. These changes include the growth of the lesion, changes in shape or color or if the lesion becomes bloody or itchy. Just one of these symptoms in itself does not mean that you have skin cancer. However, if your lesion fits any of these criteria, it is worth seeing a dermatologist to examine the lesion more closely.
To determine whether you have skin cancer, a dermatologist will first compare a suspicious mole or lesion to other spots on your skin. If there is an irregularity, the dermatologist will perform a skin biopsy. A skin biopsy is a simple process. All the biopsy requires is scraping a bit of skin off the surface of your body and inspecting it under a microscope. In some cases a punch biopsy is necessary. The dermatologist uses a special tool to punch out a very small section of skin to examine.
How is skin cancer treated?
Again, skin cancer can be cured easily in most cases as long as it is caught quickly. Treatments vary based on several factors, but minor surgeries and other local treatments are some of the most common methods.
Now that you know the warning signs of a potentially cancerous spot on your skin, you are well prepared to stay in good health. If you have a concerning spot on your skin, do not hesitate to schedule a same day or next day appointment with one of our dermatologists on our website, or by calling 651-209-1600.