Earlier this May, Colorado Dermatology Institute joined forces with other community dermatologists to participated in an event to provide free skin cancer screenings to the people of the Pike Peak area.
Community members had the chance to be examined by a dermatologist for areas of concern, with follow-up by a registered nurse regarding any suspicious results. Out of 90 individuals screened, 43 were recommended for follow-up, a startling statistic of 47 %.
While the month of May concludes Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Colorado Dermatology Institute recommends the following tips for identifying possible signs of skin cancer.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common skin cancer, affecting more than 250,000 Americans each year.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer and occurs most frequently on sun-exposed regions of the body. It affects more than 1,000,000 Americans each year and generally tends to occur in older individuals, although they may occur in young adults and even children.
Because chronic overexposure to sunlight is the leading cause of Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Basal Cell Carcinoma, sun avoidance, especially during peak sunlight hours of 10a.m. to 3p.m. is an important preventive measure to help reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. The most common treatment options include excisional surgery, electrosurgery, radiation therapy, and Mohs Surgery.
Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and can spread rapidly. Early detection is important in order to start treatment before it metastasizes.
Anyone of any skin color can develop melanoma, though it is more common among those with fair skin. A history of sunburns during a young age has been shown to increase the risk of developing this extreme form of skin cancer.
Common signs of melanoma include; change to the size, shape, or color of a mole, though not all melanomas develop in or near an existing mole. In some cases, a sudden, new growth on the skin can be melanoma.
Performing a regular skin examination can help you recognize any changes to your skin or moles. If you notice any irregularities, contact a dermatologist right away.