We treat all diseases of the skin, hair and nails in both pediatric and adult patients. This includes common diseases such as Acne, Eczema, and Psoriasis, as well as diagnosis and treatment of all forms of skin cancer. Many of our patients are referred by other physicians, and we take pride in keeping up to date with the most advanced treatment strategies.
Contact us today to learn more and set up an appointment.
At Gem State Dermatology we treat all types of skin cancer. Treatment decisions are based on many factors. These include tumor type, location, as well as other patient health issues. While most cancers are treated surgically, sometimes creams or radiation can be used. We will explain all options when the time is appropriate. Patients are encouraged to ask questions and be involved in developing their treatment plan.
Skin Cancer is the most common cancer. More than 2 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year.
With early detection and treatment, skin cancer is highly curable. The most common warning signs of skin cancer include changes in size, shape, or color of a mole or other skin lesion or the appearance of a new growth on the skin.
Here is a handout that talks more about ways to reduce your risk with sun exposure.
Here are a couple places you can purchase sun protective clothing and accessories: Solumbra and Sun Day Afternoons.
ABCD’s of Melanoma Detection
When melanoma is caught early and treated, the cure rate is nearly 100%. Performing skin self-examinations can help you find skin changes that could be an early melanoma. When looking at your skin for signs of melanoma, it helps to keep in mind the ABCD’s of Melanoma:
A stands for Asymmetry; one half does not look like the other half.
B stands for Border; irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.
C stands for Color; varied from one spot to another; shades of tan and brown, black; sometimes white, red, or blue.
D stands for Diameter; meaning if a mole changes, grows, itches, bleeds, changes colors, or is different than the rest of your moles, it should be checked.
E stands for Evolving; a mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape, or color.
Skin Cancer Affects Everyone
No matter your skin color, you can get skin cancer. Some people have a higher risk of developing skin cancer than others. Age is a key risk factor, but there are many other risk factors.
People with a higher risk for skin cancer have:
- Light colored skin
- Skin that burns or freckles rather than tans
- Blonde or red hair
- Blue or green eyes
- More than 50 moles
- Irregularly-shaped or darker moles (nevi) called “atypical” or “dysplastic”
- Used (or used) indoor tanning devices such ad tanning beds and sunlamps
Your medical history also can increase your risk of getting skin cancer. You have a much greater risk of developing skin cancer if you have:
- History of sunburns, especially blistering sunburns
- Received an organ transplant
- Had skin cancer (or a blood relative has/had skin cancer)
- A weakened immune system
- Received a long term x-ray therapy, such as x-ray treatment for acne
- Been exposed to cancer-causing compounds such as arsenic or coal
- An area of skin that has badly burned, either in an accident or by the sun
Types of Skin Cancer
The most common types of skin cancer are:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
BCC is the most common type of skin cancer. BCC appears on the skin in many shapes and sizes. You may a dome-shaped growth with visible blood vessels; a shiny, pinkish patch; or a sore that heals, and then returns. BCC usually develops on skin that receives lots of sun, such as the scalp, nose, neck and hands. BCC rarely spread to other areas of the body, but it can grow deep into tissue and bone.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
SCC is the second most common type of skin cancer. SCC appears on the skin in many shapes. You may see a crusted or rough bump; a red, rough flat patch; a dome-shaped bump that grows and bleeds; or a sore that does not heal, or heals and returns. SCC commonly develops on skin that is exposed to sun, such as the face, ears, lips, back of the hands, arms and legs.
SCC also can develop on areas of the body that are not exposed to sun, such as inside the mouth or on the genitals. Smoking or chewing tobacco may increase the risk of getting SCC in the mouth or throat. Left untreated, SCC can spread to other parts of the body, making treatment difficult.
This is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Melanoma may develop on normal skin or in an existing mole. A change to the shape, color, or diameter (size) of a mole can be a sign of melanoma. Other changes to watch for include a mole that becomes painful or begins to bleed or itch.
Some melanomas develop on normal skin. A new growth, particularly one that does not match your other moles, could be melanoma.
Melanoma also can develop under fingernails or toenails. This will look like a brown or black streak underneath the nail.
Although melanoma is more common in those with light colored skin, people with skin of color also get melanoma. In skin of color, melanoma usually appears on palms of the hands, soles of the feet, under a nail, in the mouth, or on the genitals.