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Finding Skin Cancer Early

Finding Skin Cancer Early

Posted by Goodman Dermatology in Preventative Skin Care, Skin Cancer 10 Feb 2016

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Detecting Skin Cancer Early

Just about everyone has some type of mole, freckle or blemish somewhere on their body. When they stay the same year after year, they’re probably OK. It is recommended to check all of your skin, preferably once a month. Skin cancers in common areas such as your face, neck, chest, arms and legs are pretty easy to spot. Remember, skin cancer can grow anywhere including the bottom of your feet, between toes, on your scalp, behind your ears, on the back of your legs, and your back. Goodman Dermatology doctors have seen skin cancer in just about every spot imaginable and only have a trained eye can help to detect and diagnose properly.

Warning signs to look for:

  • A skin growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored
  • A mole, birthmark, beauty mark, or any brown spot that:
    • changes color
    • increases in size or thickness
    • changes in texture
    • is irregular in outline
    • is bigger than 6mm or 1/4″, the size of a pencil eraser
    • appears after age 21
  • A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode, or bleed
  • An open sore that does not heal within three weeks

If you do your monthly self-exam and see something suspicious then you need to take it seriously and schedule to be seen by one of the physicians at Goodman Dermatology in Roswell, GA. Dr. Marcus Goodman or Dr. Christopher Buckley specialize in skin diseases and are experts in diagnosing and treating all types of skin cancer. It’s important not to ignore it; it might be melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer. If left untreated, melanoma can be deadly. This skin cancer grows much faster than others, so early detection and treatment is important.

When you have your exam, one of the doctors may take a biopsy, a sample of skin from a suspect area. It can usually be done quickly and easily in the doctor’s office. The sample is then sent to a pathology lab to be examined under a microscope to see if it contains cancer cells.

If detected early, melanoma is about 98 percent curable. Treatment depends on the type, size and location of the cancerous cells. The goal of the doctors at Goodman Dermatology is to remove the cells without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue. Most of the time, Dr. Goodman or Dr. Buckley can do that with surgery, topical chemotherapy, but in cases where that’s not possible, radiation therapy may be used.

If you live in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Marietta, Johns Creek, Milton, Sandy Springs, Cumming, or Woodstock, make Goodman Dermatology your dermatology home. Call now to schedule your appointment 770-754-0787.

Skin cancer photos from cancer.org, AmericanCancerSociety.org

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