While more people in the United States receive a diagnosis of skin cancer each year than all other cancers combined, if detected early, it’s highly treatable. That’s why Jeanne Paz, MD, an experienced dermatologist at Nassau Bay Dermatology in Webster, Texas, encourages people of all ages to conduct self-exams, as well as regular dermatology visits, to prevent skin cancer from becoming a life-threatening situation. Dr. Paz has more than 27 years of experience diagnosing and treating the various forms of skin cancer, so you can get the expert care you need. Call to schedule a consultation or book online.
Skin cancer affects people of all ages from different races, backgrounds, and skin colors. If you spend a lot of time in the sun, or you did when you were younger, you may be at a higher risk for certain types of skin cancer. Common types of skin cancer include:
AKs are essentially precursors to skin cancer. They’re dry, scaly patches of or spots on your skin that contain precancerous growths. They typically appear on areas of your body that get the most sun over the course of your lifetime, including your face, neck, and hands. If left untreated, AKs may progress into squamous cell carcinoma, a much more serious type of skin cancer.
This is the most common type of skin cancer that appears as a flesh-colored bump or pink patch of skin. Like actinic keratoses, BCC develops after years of repeated sun exposure, so it’s common on your arms, legs, face, and neck. If left untreated, BCC can spread into the surrounding tissue or even affect your nerves and bones.
SCC is another common skin cancer that usually affects light-skinned individuals. It appears as a red, firm bump or a scaly patch of skin that sometimes heals then comes back again. SCC also forms on areas of your body that have been exposed to the sun over the years. If untreated, SCC can spread.
Melanoma, as you may have heard, is the most serious form of skin cancer. It often develops around a mole or as a new dark spot on your skin as a result of sun exposure. A melanoma diagnosis is extremely serious and early detection is essential for increasing available treatment options. When treated early, melanoma is almost always curable, but if left untreated, it can be fatal.
Based on recommendations by the American Cancer Society, you should perform a self-check of your moles once a month. Make an appointment with Dr. Jeanne Paz as soon you notice any changes to existing moles or if new spots or moles appear — especially if they look different from your other ones. Even if you don’t have concerns about a suspicious mole, it’s still a good idea to come in for an exam so Dr. Paz can closely examine your moles and birthmarks.
Then, after talking to you about your family history, health history, and your risk for developing certain skin cancers, Dr. Paz recommends how often you should return to the office for regular exams.
Call today to schedule a skin cancer screening or book online.