Posts for tag: Skin Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in the United States. Like many types of cancer, prevention and early detection are the best ways to protect yourself and your family. Dr. Karen Maffei, a dermatologist in Athens, GA, recommends regular skin cancer screenings and awareness of the signs and symptoms of the different forms of skin cancer.
Skin Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Athens, GA
Despite everything we know about the dangers of overexposure to the sun's harmful UV rays over time, skin cancer cases have continued to rise over the last few decades, especially among younger adults.
What to Look For
Monitoring new growths or changes to existing moles and freckles is the most important step in detecting skin cancer early, especially for melanoma (the most serious and potentially fatal type of skin cancer). If you notice new moles or growths/sores that don't heal within a week, see a dermatologist for a skin check. Because skin cancer can develop anywhere on the body and frequently affects areas that are difficult to see during a self-exam like the back and scalp, dermatologists recommend regular professional screenings.
How to Spot Melanoma
Moles that are asymmetrical, don't have clear and well-defined borders, are inconsistent in color (or a color other than black or brown), are larger than 1/4 inch or are changing in size, shape or color can be a sign of melanoma and should be examined by a dermatologist as soon as possible.
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself from Sun Damage
While avoiding tanning beds and prolonged exposure to the midday sun are at the top of the list of sun damage prevention, there are a number of precautions that everyone can take in order to continue enjoying time in the outdoors. Here's what you can do:
- Wear sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) every time you go outside and reapply regularly, especially after swimming or sweating (even on cloudy days)
- Wear protective clothing
- Avoid prolonged sun exposure during peak exposure hours (10 AM to 4 PM)
Find a Dermatologist in Athens, GA
To learn more about the signs and symptoms of skin cancer and what you can do to protect yourself and your family from harmful sun exposure, contact Athens Dermatology Group today by calling 706-769-1550 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Maffei.
Identifying skin cancer early is crucial in treating this condition successfully. While skin cancer has a very high curability rate, it can turn serious and even deadly if left untreated. To ensure your skin’s health, you should be familiar with the earliest signs of skin cancer. Find out more about the early signs of skin cancer with Dr. Karen Maffei at Athens Dermatology in Watkinsville, GA.
Is this mole normal?
The easiest way to determine if a mole is suspicious is to use the American Cancer Society’s ABCDE rule:
- Asymmetry: A suspicious mole appears asymmetrical while a normal mole is almost always symmetrical.
- Border: A mole’s border should be smooth and round or ovular.
- Color: The color of a normal mole can vary from light pink to dark brown. However, if your mole is very dark or has two or more colors within its borders, it may be cancerous.
- Diameter: A normal mole is usually smaller in diameter than 6 millimeters, or the eraser of a pencil.
- Evolving: A normal mole stays the same and does not change. Suspicious moles can change in appearance, changing color or shape rapidly in a short period of time.
What are some other early signs of skin cancer?
Skin cancer almost always begins as a discoloration on the skin which looks like a mole. While there are certain ways to tell if a mole may be cancerous. However, some cases do not follow the usual signs and symptoms. Some early signs of cancer is a sore that doesn’t heal, the spread of pigment from the inside of a discoloration to the surrounding skin, sudden itching or tenderness around a mole, or a mole that suddenly appears to change on its surface and begins to ooze or bleed.
Regular Skin Examinations in Watkinsville, GA
If you think you could have a suspicious mole or discoloration, you should consult with your dermatologist to ensure that it is not a sign of skin cancer. Regular skin examinations allow your doctor to find and treat these suspicious moles early. For more information on skin cancer or to schedule a skin examination, please contact Dr. Maffei at Athens Dermatology in Watkinsville, GA. Call (706) 769-1550 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Maffei today!