Who doesn't think about skin cancer these days? After all, about 9,500 Americans receive the diagnosis every day, says the CDC. At Florida Dermatology Associates in Melbourne, FL, your dermatologists, Dr. Frank Lee and Dr. Ruben Antenor Moreno, help patients with the identification and treatment of skin cancer and promote life-saving prevention.
Kinds of skin cancer
People of all ages and walks of life may experience skin cancer. The CDC reports that 20 percent of Americans will develop this condition by age 70.
There are three basic types of skin cancer. They can heal well when detected and treated early by your Melbourne dermatologist. Types include:
- Basal cell carcinoma, the most frequently-occurring kind
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Malignant melanoma, deadly because of its rapid spread to other body organs
Malignant melanoma is directly linked to sun exposure, states the Skin Cancer Foundation. Skin type (fair to dark) really doesn't protect anyone from harmful UV radiation. So, people must take intentional steps to protect their skin and to track changes in texture and color, particularly regarding moles, small circumscribed areas of increased pigmentation.
Preventing skin cancer
Dr. Moreno and Dr. Lee recommend these skin cancer preventives:
- Wear SPF 30 or higher sunscreen. Apply liberally to all exposed areas. Reapply after two hours or if you are sweating excessively. Make sure to treat your ears.
- Stay in the shade or indoors during peak sun times--10 am to 4 pm.
- Wear a broad-brimmed hat and long sleeves in the sun.
- Avoid artificial tanning.
- Examine your skin once a month after the age of 40. Look for changes in color and texture. Come to Florida Dermatology Associates once a year for a full-body skin examination.
- Use the ABCDE method of checking your moles.
Here's how the ABCDE tool works:
A means asymmetry. If you divided a mole in half, each side should be the same size and shape.
B means border. Healthy moles have smooth borders with no scallops or notches.
C means color. It should be even throughout the surface of the mole. Differing shades may indicate cancerous changes.
D equals diameter. A noncancerous mole is no larger than a pencil top eraser.
E is evolving. Itching, growth, lumps or bleeding are definite danger signs.
Be aware, and be safe
At Florida Dermatology Associates in Melbourne, Dr. Moreno and Dr. Lee help patients understand the dangers of skin cancer. For an exam and more tips on prevention and detection, contact one of our five convenient locations in Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay, Port St. John, Suntree and Titusville. Call (321) 768-1600.