Because skin cancer is one of the most commonly found cancers, many people are concerned and have questions about moles and skin growths. This concern is well founded among those in high risk groups such as people with fairer skin or have a family or genetic history of skin cancer.
One of the first lines of defense against skin cancer is to understand the effects moles and other precancerous growths may have. A precancerous condition is any skin state that is associated with an increased risk of cancer. Fortunately, Dr. Wright – St. Louis Dermatologist – is here to help you understand pre-cancers and skin cancers in their entirety. Read on for more information
Moles are a common precancerous growth, though they are mostly benign. Moles are a grouping colored cells that are usually small, dark spots. They can, however, come in other colors and size, as well as appearing as raised, wrinkled, or smooth spots. Most moles appear during childhood and then through the next 30 years or so. Eventually, the mole can transform into melanoma.
Actinic Keratosis on the face, chest, forehead and cheek
Actinic keratosis are pre-cancerous lesions of the skin that generally occur on the areas of the skin that have received sun exposure. These areas include the head, ears, scalp, arms, hands, and lips. They appear in different forms, including the typical reddish-brown, dry, scaly, or crusty rough patches. Some can itch, burn, or feel painful when rubbed. A number of these Acatinic Keratosis can progress to squamous cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma can appear usually as a bump that is often waxy or pearly flesh colored. It can also appear flat and sometimes with pink to reddish hue. Squamous cell Skin Cancer is often reddish or brownish nodule or freckle or it can look like a pimple.
Basal Cell Skin Cancer
Skin cancer— when caught and treated early is generally easily curable. If you are in a high risk group, it is important that you do regular self-checks. Monthly self-exams can help you identify any new moles, or changes in existing moles, or unusual skin growths or lesions for early detection. You should also consult a St. Louis dermatologist, such as Dr. Wright to evaluate your moles, especially those that you may not be able to see. In addition to those monthly self-exams, you should also undergo a yearly exam from a qualified physician.
If you are concerned about a mole or other skin growth and want to know whether it is benign or malignant, or if you just want to have one removed for cosmetic reasons, consult with a knowledgeable physician such as Dr. Wright. The team of professionals at Laser Lipo and Veins can provide services, including St. Louis cancer care that can include mole removal, as well as cancer screening for any moles or other skin lesions that may need to be removed.