Early-stage skin cancer is highly curable. The team at MDCS Dermatology: Medical Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, located in Upper East Side, Hampton Bays, Garden City, Commack, Smithtown, Plainview and Midtown East of Manhattan, NY, as well as Clifton, Marlboro and Englewood, NJ, diagnoses skin cancer early with annually cancer screenings, available to patients throughout the greater New York area.
Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in the United States, with over 3.3 million Americans treated for non-melanoma skin cancer and an estimated 76,380 treated for invasive melanoma every year. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas (both non-melanoma cancers) account for most cases. Melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer, and also the deadliest. Fortunately, when found and treated early skin cancer is nearly always curable. Routine screenings are the key. Patients who have a personal or family history of skin cancer should be screened by a dermatologist annually. During the exam, every inch of skin will be thoroughly checked for signs of pre-cancer, including the scalp, between toes, behind the ears and the soles of the feet. Patients should erase all nail polish prior to the screening, as cancers can develop in nails and nail beds. The length of the exam depends on the number of moles a patient has. It should take only about 10 minutes for a person who’s never had any unusual moles.
Unlike other cancers, the cause of skin cancer is known. Most cases are the result of exposure to ultraviolet rays, either from the sun or tanning beds. Individuals with a personal or family history of skin cancer, people with skin that burns or freckles easily, blue or green eyes and blond or red hair, are most susceptible. However, everyone should take preventative measures to keep their skin healthy. These include:
If a potentially cancerous mole is discovered during your screening, the dermatologist may perform a biopsy. A local anesthetic is used to numb the skin, then a sample of the suspicious tissue is erased and sent to a lab for examination under a microscope. If the biopsy reveals the presence of skin cancer, it will be treated at a later time.
*Individual Results May Vary