Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common of all cancer types. More than 3.5 million skin cancers are diagnosed in the United States each year.

It pays to protect yourself and your family from skin cancer, or to detect it early enough so that it can be treated effectively. Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Most of this exposure comes from the sun and tanning beds.

The best defense against skin cancer is prevention. Regular use of sun screens and protective clothing has been shown to effectively reduce skin cancer risk. Also, having a dermatologist perform a full-body skin cancer screening at regular intervals offers the best detection of existing skin cancers.

What does skin cancer looks like?

Skin cancer can look very different from person to person. This makes it hard to look at a picture and tell if you have skin cancer.

Dr. Herron is highly trained to examine skin for signs of pre-malignant and malignant lesions. You should see a dermatologist right away for a skin cancer check if you see a growth on your skin that lasts for 2 weeks or longer and is:

  • Growing
  • Changing shape
  • Bleeding or itching

Skin cancer has an excellent cure rate if detected early and treated.

What are the different types of skin cancer?

Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. More than 2 million cases are detected in the United States every year. BCC almost never spreads (metastasizes) beyond the original tumor site. Only in exceedingly rare cases can it spread to other parts of the body and become life-threatening. It shouldn’t be taken lightly, though: it can be disfiguring if not treated promptly.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the second most common skin cancer. SCCs often look like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression, or warts; they may crust or bleed. They can become disfiguring and sometimes deadly if allowed to grow.

Melanoma (malignant moles) can spread to other parts of the body and can be deadly. Melanoma is caused mainly by intense, occasional UV exposure (frequently leading to sunburn), especially in those who are genetically predisposed to the disease. Melanoma kills an estimated 9,940 people in the US annually.