Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers, affecting millions of Americans every year. Your Milford, CT, dermatologist says one in five Americans develops skin cancer, a generally curable disease if caught early.
More About Skin Cancer:
People who have cancer are susceptible to other skin cancers and the vast majority consist of three different types of skin cancer, like basal cell carcinoma.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
The most common skin caner is Basal cell carcinoma. You can develop this skin cancer if your skin is overexposed to UVB radiation because it breaks downs the body's natural repair system and allows the growth of basal cell carcinomas. Symptoms include raised pink or pearly white bumps with visible blood vessels, pigmented bumps that look like moles with a pearly edge, a sore that heals and re-opens, and a flat scaly scar with a waxy appearance.
More than 80% of basal cell carcinomas occurs on the face and neck, and risk factors include:
- having fair skin
- sun exposure
- age (most skin cancers occur after age 50)
- exposure to ultraviolet radiation
- therapeutic radiation
You need a biopsy to diagnose basal cell carcinoma and there are several treatment options:
- Cryosurgery: Liquid nitrogen freezes off the tumor.
- Curettage and Desiccation: A metal instrument is used to scrape out the tumor and an electric current removes remaining cancer cells.
- Mohs Micrographic Surgery: This procedure combines the removal of cancerous tissue with a microscopic review during surgery. Layer by layer, your Milford dermatologist removes unhealthy cells, which damages the least amount of healthy skin.
- Prescription Medicated Creams: Creams are applied at home to stimulate the body's natural immune system.
- Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy attacks difficult-to-treat tumors.
- Surgical Excision: The tumor is surgically removed and stitched up.
If you have any questions or concerns about skin cancer, you can call your Milford, CT, dermatologist at Connecticut Coastline Dermatology today!