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Skin Cancer

Actinic Keratoses

Actinic keratoses or solar keratoses are considered the earliest stage of skin cancer; it is considered a pre-cancer.  It can be treated with cryotherapy (freezing), topical chemotherapy (applying a cream or lotion), photodynamic therapy (a chemical is applied to the skin prior to exposure to a light source), or other dermatologic surgical procedures.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer.  It accounts for over 90% of all skin cancers in the U.S.  They usually do not grow quickly, and will not metastasize (spread to other parts of the body).  They will continue to get larger and can extend below the skin to the bone and nerves.  Surgery is the most common choice of treatment.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common skin cancer.  Squamous cell carcinoma also rarely spreads, but it does so more often than Basal cell carcinoma.  Unlike Basal cell carcinoma, this form of cancer can metastasize (spread to other parts of the body), so it is important to get treatment early.  When treated early the cure rate for both Basal cell and Squamous cell carcinoma is over 95%.

Malignant Melanoma

Melanoma is an uncontrolled, abnormal growth of cells that starts in skin cells called melanocytes.  Melanocytes are pigmented cells in the skin.  Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer.  Early detection is important because melanoma may metastasize (spread to other parts of the body).

Warning Signs of Melanoma

  • Changes in the surface of a mole
  • Scaliness, oozing, bleeding or the appearance of a new bump
  • Spread of pigment from the border of a mole into surrounding skin.
  • Change in sensation including itchiness, tenderness, pain.

We have an assortment of skin care pamphlets with more information on various conditions.  Stop in and pick some up to learn more!