Conditions: Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is an epidemic in the United States and more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. Overall, 1 in 5 Americans will develop some form of skin cancer during their lifetime. Most diagnosed skin cancers are nonmelanoma skin cancers, with about 80% being basal cell carcinomas and about 20% squamous cell carcinomas. Basal cell carcinomas frequently appear as a pearly bump, whereas squamous cell carcinomas often look like a rough, red scaly area or an ulcerated bump that bleeds. Melanoma skin cancers occur less frequently but are significantly more lethal, killing 1 person every hour in the U.S. Melanoma can arise by itself or from a pre-existing mole that becomes rapidly growing, itching, bleeding, or changing its color or surface.
Skin cancer is highly curable when identified in its earliest stages. Screening by a dermatologist can identify these lesions when they are most curable and can be performed during an office visit without drawing any blood. Moles and other lesions can be evaluated with a dermatoscope, which can magnify pigmentary patterns. Much care is taken to assure patient comfort, to educate patients about their skin and self screening, and on how to protect the skin from further sun damage.
More information on skin cancer can be found on Dr. Chapas’s Huffington Post blog.