Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Dermatology located in Sanford, NC & Pittsboro, NC
Skin cancer, the most common type of cancer in the US, affects one in five Americans. If you have a suspicious mole, a family or personal history of skin cancer, or are in need of a routine skin check, the highly skilled team at Sanford Dermatology can help. They provide comprehensive skin cancer screenings and treatments in Sanford, Pittsboro, and Lillington, North Carolina. Book your skin cancer appointment by calling the office nearest you to schedule.
Skin Cancer Q & A
What are the signs of skin cancer?
Skin cancer doesn’t always lead to obvious signs and symptoms. Some of the things of which to be aware, depending on the type of skin cancer, are described below.
The most well-known type of skin precancer, actinic keratoses (AK) leads to dry, scaly patches that tend to form on sun-damaged areas, often beginning in your 40s.
Basal cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma, the most common type of skin cancer, surfaces as flesh-colored, pearl-like bumps. You may even notice tiny pinkish patches of skin. This type of skin cancer often develops because of years of sun exposure or tanning bed use.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma often appears as a firm, red bump, or as a scaly patch. You may even find that you have a small sore that heals but keeps opening back up. This type of skin cancer forms on sun-exposed areas, particularly your ears, face, neck, and chest.
Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, usually forms in moles. You may notice a mole changing shape or color or that it has irregular borders. Occasionally, melanoma surfaces as a new dark spot on your skin.
Why do I have skin cancer?
Though ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun and tanning booths is the leading cause of most types of skin cancer, it isn’t the only cause or risk factor. Your chances of developing skin cancer are higher due to:
- Family history of skin cancer
- Fair or light skin tone
- History of sunburns
Even though most moles are fine and nothing to worry about, if you have lots of moles, you may have an increased risk of skin cancer. Because skin cancer can progress and spread if left untreated, it’s important to schedule annual skin checks at Sanford Dermatology and to come in any time you notice a new or abnormal growth.
How is skin cancer treated?
Treating skin cancer depends on your diagnosis and the severity of your condition. But the compassionate team at Sanford Dermatology is dedicated to helping you beat skin cancer and teaching you how to lower your risk of recurrence. Your skin cancer treatment plan may include:
- Mohs surgery (reserved for complex or large skin cancer growths)
- Curettage and electrodesiccation with an electric needle
- Freezing with liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery)
- Excisional surgery
If your cancer can’t be entirely removed during surgery or if it has spread, you may need radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Sanford Dermatology helps you every step of the way, no matter which skin cancer treatment is best for you.
If you have a history of skin cancer or are due for a routine skin check, contact Sanford Dermatology. You can book your appointment online or over the phone with any office.