Where Can Skin Cancer Develop?
There are many questions you may have about skin cancer. Who is at risk? What are the symptoms? How can I prevent it? Where can it develop? Understanding the basics of skin cancer can help answer all of these questions, as well as assist in protecting yourself against it. Should you have further specific questions regarding its development or treatment options, contact your dermatologist in St. Louis MO.
Skin Cancer is Common
Skin cancer is considered the most common form of cancer. Statistics show that approximately 5.4 million cases are diagnosed each year. Additionally, in 2016, melanoma—the most deadly form of skin cancer—is expected to account for approximately 76,000 cases.
Skin Cancer Types
There are several different types of skin cancer, and understanding each one can help the treatment and recovery outlook. Because skin cancer attacks the skin, it can essentially develop anywhere on the skin’s surface; the high risk areas are those that have increased sun exposure. The different types of cancer include:
- Basal Cell – This is the least dangerous and most common form of skin cancer. It often appears on the upper torso, face, and neck. It is slow growing and often appears as a dry, scaly area and/or a lump.
- Squamous Cell – While not as deadly as melanoma, squamous cell can spread quickly to other parts of the body if it is left untreated. Squamous cell carcinoma is also the type of cancer that usually develops due to sun exposure. Symptoms include thick, red, scaly spots that may ulcerate or crust over.
- Melanoma – This is the most deadly form of skin cancer if left untreated. It can grow and spread very quickly. It often starts as a flat spot or mole with uneven borders.
Early Detection is Very Important
Because early detection means that more positive outcomes are possible, it is advised that you perform a self-exam on a monthly basis. At Laser Lipo and Vein, Our St. Louis dermatology experts and physicians also suggest that you visit for a baseline exam to get an overall “map” of any moles and spots. From here, your monthly exams can check for any changes that may occur on existing moles/spots. During your exam, we will also outline the ABCDEs of skin cancer detection to ensure that you can properly check for potential skin cancer. Call your dermatologist in St. Louis today to schedule a consultation where we can discuss your risk factors and how to protect yourself against skin cancer.