Abnormalities of the skin often result from cancerous cells dividing and forming lesions. These growths or lesions can vary in color and size and may appear anywhere on the body. Some skin growths are harmless; however, it is important to have any new or old lesions checked out by a dermatologist to confirm a diagnosis.
What is Melanoma?
Melanoma, or skin cancer, is the abnormal dividing and forming of cells resulting in a lesion or growth. There are three different types of skin cancer and their differences are both physical and cellular. All three types are treated differently based on their depth and size.
Melanoma is the most dangerous of the three types of skin cancer. Melanoma is commonly caused by repeated overexposure to the sun without the use of sunblock or protective garments. However, a small percentage of melanoma occurs in areas that typically never see the sun. These growths first appear as pigmented cells called ‘melanocytes’ and further develop in size from that point. These lesions are typically black or brown in color, looking like moles making it imperative that you have annual check-ups with a dermatologist.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
A basal cell carcinoma is a slow developing cancerous skin tumor that occurs as a result of abnormal changes in basal skin cells. Common symptoms include a skin growth or bump on the face, ear, neck, chest, back, or scalp, with a somewhat shiny appearance. Treatment varies depending on the size, depth. Simple treatment options exist like EDC or electrodesiccation and curettage or a simple excision in the office. In select circumstances, Ricardo Mejia, MD may opt to treat with a topical product. Mohs surgery is often used for facial skin cancers that require delicate removal and plastic surgery reconstruction. Receiving prompt treatment by your dermatologist could result in a full cure rate of more than 95 percent.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is a malignant tumor that affects the middle layer of the skin rather than the surface. This tumor is often more aggressive than basal cell carcinoma because of its ability to spread to other areas. Symptoms include skin growths that are firm, red and possibly cone-shaped. Most squamous cell tumors may be cured if promptly removed. New tumors can develop later on; therefore, patients should have regular examinations by their dermatologist.