Skin Cancer | What You Need To Know


Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with one in five Americans developing skin cancer in their lifetime. It's important for everyone, especially those who are frequently exposed to the sun, to be aware of the warning signs and risk factors associated with skin cancer so that they can protect themselves. Here's a closer look at what you need to know about skin cancer, including its warning signs, treatments, and prevention methods. 

What Are the Warning Signs of Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer can manifest itself in a variety of ways, which is why it's important to regularly check your skin and be aware of any changes or abnormalities. Common warning signs include:

  • Moles or spots that have changed in size, shape, color, or texture
  • New growths on the skin
  • Sores that don't heal
  • Unusual rough patches 

If you notice anything out of the ordinary, consult your doctor right away. It is important to note that skin cancer can affect anyone regardless of skin color or race.

What Are Treatment Options for Skin Cancer?

If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, there are several treatment options available depending on the type and its severity, including:

  • Topical creams for milder forms of skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma
  • Mohs surgery for more serious forms, such as melanoma
  • Radiation therapy for cancers that have spread beyond their original site
  • Immunotherapy boosts your body's immune system response against cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy to shrink tumors before surgery
  • Biologic therapy uses drugs made from living organisms rather than chemicals.

Your doctor will help you decide which form of treatment is best for you based on the type and stage of your skin cancer diagnosis.

What Are Some Prevention Strategies?

The best way to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer is by taking preventative measures, including wearing sunscreen daily, avoiding tanning beds, covering up with protective clothing (hats, long-sleeved shirts, etc.) during peak hours, and getting regular checkups with a dermatologist. Taking these steps can go a long way toward preventing skin cancer.

Skin cancer may be the most common form of cancer, but it is also very preventable. By understanding the warning signs, treatment options, and prevention methods of skin cancer, you can protect yourself and your loved ones. Wear sunscreen and get regular checkups from a dermatologist. If you think something looks off with your skin, don't wait.

Contact a local dermatologist to learn more about skin cancer


25 January 2023

Never Ignore an Unusual Skin Change

When I was a teenager, I loved sunbathing to keep a golden tan. My family had no history of skin cancer, so I thought my skin was "invincible" to sun damage. Years later, as an adult, I noticed an unusual patch of skin on my arm. I had no idea what it was, but thankfully, I made an appointment with my GP to get it checked out. She referred me to a dermatologist who diagnosed me with very early stage skin cancer that could be treatable with a simple cream. I was very lucky that the cream worked, but if I had waited to visit the dermatologist until my skin cancer was more advanced, I would have had to have surgery to remove it. I decided to start a blog to share my story and post tips about skin health. Please come back often and learn more about skin!