Our Dermatologist Blog

Posts for tag: skin cancer

By Florida Dermatology Associates
October 08, 2018
Category: Dermatology
Tags: skin cancer  

Did you know that skin cancer occurs in more Americans than all other kinds of cancers put together? Statistics from the Skin Cancer Foundation prove it, and that's why your dermatologists, Dr. Ruben Antenor Moreno and Dr. Frank Lee at Florida Dermatology in Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay, Cocoa, Suntree, and Titusville, FL, want their patients to be vigilant about this deadly condition. With routine screening, diagnosis and cure rates are high.

What you can look for

If you receive an annual skin cancer screening as the American Academy of Dermatology advises, that's great. But, did you know that in between visits to your dermatologist, you can looks for signs of skin cancer yourself in the privacy of your own home?

While skin cancers (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma, the most virulent) mostly appear on areas exposed to the sun, your dermatologist encourages his patients to inspect the entire body. If necessary, use a mirror or get a spouse to help.

Look for:

  • Crusty, scaly patches which do not heal
  • Raised bumps which bleed
  • Bumps that are waxy in texture and have visible blood vessels and/or dimples

Also, your dermatologist says to inspect any existing moles for changes. Use this mnemonic to recall how to examine your skin:

A is for assymmetry. A benign mole, bisected with a straight line down the middle, will be evenly shaped and sized in both halves.

B is for border. Cancerous moles, unlike their benign counterparts, are irregular or notched, not smooth.

C is for color. It should be the same throughout.

D stands for diameter. Picture the pink eraser at the top of a standard pencil. No benign mole will be larger than this eraser (6mm).

E means evolving. A mole you've had for a long time should look the same year after year, not growing or changing in shape, texture or color.

Your bottom line caution from your dermatologist is: if you see a concerning change, come to Florida Dermatology Associates for a check-up.

Preventing skin cancer

Remember the old sayings, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." and " A stitch in time saves nine?" Well, these adages remind us that keeping ahead of dangerous health conditions is worth the time and effort. Typically, preventive measures are simple lifestyle habits which add up to a healthier, happier you.

So, to help prevent skin cancer, remember to:

  • Stay in the shade between 10 am and 2 pm when the sun's rays are at their peak.
  • Cover up poolside and at the beach. Long sleeves and long pants, in light colors, reflect the sun.
  • Use SPF 30 sun screen or higher on exposed areas, and re-apply it every 2 hours or whenever it sweats or washes off.
  • Avoid tanning booths.

Find out more

If you are concerned about a skin rash, spot, mole or lesion, please contact Florida Dermatology Associates in Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay, Cocoa, Suntree, and Titusville, FL. This professional team helps scores of people annually have their healthiest, most attractive skin. Reach us at (321) 768-1600.

By Florida Dermatology Associates
September 26, 2017
Category: Dermatology
Tags: skin cancer  

Have you or a family member recently been diagnosed with skin cancer? It's normal to feel a little overwhelmed about the next steps after skin cancera cancer diagnosis. The Melbourne, FL, dermatologists at Florida Dermatology Associates discuss what you can expect after your diagnosis and discuss treatment options, including Mohs surgery.

Staging

Information obtained from your skin biopsy and a skin examination will help your Melbourne dermatologist stage your cancer. The number assigned to your cancer will depend on its size and whether it has spread to organs, bones or lymph nodes. For example, stage zero cancer has only been found in your skin, while stage four cancer has spread to organs or bones. Staging is an important process that will help your doctor determine the best type of treatment for you.

Additional Tests

In some cases, you may need additional tests to determine if the cancer has spread. Blood tests, X-rays, fine needle aspiration biopsies, and CAT or MRI scans are often used to detect cancer in other parts of your body.

Skin Cancer Treatment

Skin cancer treatment depends on the type and stage of your cancer, but may include:

  • Topical Treatment: If your cancer is confined to the surface of your skin only, applying topical medications for about six weeks may eliminate the cancer.
  • Cryosurgery: Some cancers can be removed by freezing them off with liquid nitrogen.
  • Photodynamic Therapy: Blue light destroys skin cells after a medication that makes your skin sensitive to light is applied. Photodynamic therapy can be used to treat very early skin cancer or pre-cancerous changes.
  • Curettage and Electrodessication: If your cancer is small, it can be scraped off with a sharp curette. After the cancer is removed, an electrocautery needle is applied to the site to destroy any lingering cells.
  • Surgical Excision: Excision involves removing the cancerous area with a scalpel. It's also important to remove healthy skin around the cancer to ensure that no cancer remains.
  • Mohs Surgery: Although surgical incision is very effective, it tends to cause significant scarring. Moh's surgery doesn't require removal of healthy skin around the skin cancer. Skin is removed layer by layer, reducing scarring and pain after surgery. After one layer is removed, it's evaluated under a microscope. If cancer cells are still present, an additional layer is removed and then examined. The process continues until there are no longer any cancerous cells remaining in your skin.

Mohs surgery and other techniques offer effective treatments that help prevent skin cancer from spreading. If you're uncertain about your next step, call the Melbourne, FL, dermatologists at Florida Dermatology Associates at (321) 768-1600 to schedule an appointment.

By Florida Dermatology Associates
July 17, 2017
Category: Dermatology

Protecting yourself from skin cancer is particularly important when you live in a state as sunny as Florida. If you have plenty of outdoor skin protectionactivities planned this summer, you'll want to protect yourself from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays. The dermatologists at Florida Dermatology Associates in Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Titusville, and Cocoa, FL, share a few tips that will help you reduce your skin cancer risk.

Don't leave the house without applying sunscreen

You're exposed to the sun the moment you step outdoors, even if you're only making a quick trip to pick up a gallon of milk. Before you leave the house, apply sunscreen to every exposed area of your body. Apply the product to your skin at least 15 minutes before you go outside. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using products that offer a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30. Although sunscreen with higher SPF numbers increases protection, the difference is very slight.

Are you looking for a more natural, chemical-free sunscreen product? Our Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Titusville, and Cocoa doctors offer a mineral-based sunscreen that you may want to try. No matter what type of sunscreen you use, remember to reapply it often during the day, particularly if you sweat or spend the day at the beach or pool.

Plan your outdoor activities carefully

Avoid going outside when the sun's rays are the strongest. Instead, schedule activities before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m.

Seek the shade

Take advantage of shady areas, beach umbrellas, and covered porches to decrease your exposure to the sun. Even if you do plan to spend most of the day in the shade, be sure to still wear sunscreen. Shade may lower sun exposure, but it doesn't eliminate it entirely.

Cover up

Hats, long-sleeve rashguards, and sunglasses help reduce your skin cancer risk. Wear them when you plan to be outdoors.

Examine your skin

Pay attention to moles that grow larger or change appearance, blemishes that never go away, or sores that don't heal. If you notice any of these symptoms, visit one of our offices. Prompt treatment is essential in treating skin cancer.

Are you concerned about a change in a mole or another skin problem? Call the dermatologists at Florida Dermatology Associates to schedule an appointment at any of our offices: Melbourne, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Titusville, and Cocoa, FL.

By Florida Dermatology Associates
December 01, 2016
Category: Dermatology
Tags: skin cancer   mohs surgery  

Find out how effective Mohs surgery is at removing skin cancer.

If one of our Cocoa, Titusville, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach and Melbourne, FL dermatologists just recently diagnosed you with skin cancer mohs surgeryyou may be feeling pretty overwhelmed by the diagnosis, but we are here to help. We understand that this is usually the time patients have a ton of questions and need answers most. That’s why we are here to tell you more about the effectiveness of Mohs surgery and what you can expect from this procedure.

What is Mohs Surgery?

This procedure is often a popular way to treat certain forms of skin cancer because it spares as much healthy tissue as possible while removing the cancerous tissue. During the procedure, you will be completely awake and the procedure will be performed under a local anesthesia so you don’t feel any pain or discomfort.

Our Cocoa, Titusville, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach and Melbourne skin doctors will remove a small patch of skin and check for cancerous cells under the microscope. Cancerous cells look a lot like roots, which will be able to be seen under the microscope. If we see roots then we will need to remove another thin layer of skin. We will continue this process until we no longer see any cancerous cells in the sample.

Who should get Mohs surgery?

Mohs is typically a great option for patients who have cancer in areas in which it is particularly important to preserve as much of the skin as possible, such as the hands, eyes, nose, mouth or cheeks.

Mohs surgery is often used to remove both squamous and basal cell cancers, but there are some cases in which this surgery may be used to treat melanoma.

How long does it take?

This procedure will take a couple of hours to complete since we need to take samples and examine them under a microscope. It usually takes anywhere from one to three hours to complete. We will use lidocaine to numb the area prior to the treatment. We will remove the layer of tissue and have you wait while we examine your sample under the microscope. From there we will decide whether we need to remove more tissue or whether we can stitch up the area.

Here at Florida Dermatology Associates in Cocoa, Titusville, Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach and Melbourne, FL we believe knowledge is power. Skin cancer can easily be treated if you turn to us right away. Whether you need to schedule your routine skin cancer screening or you have questions about Mohs surgery, we are here to answer all of your questions.

By Florida Dermatology Associates
September 22, 2016
Category: Dermatology

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer among men and women in the United States, accounting for over 5 million cancer skin cancerdiagnoses each year. There are several types of skin cancer, and early detection is one of the most important factors in obtaining successful treatment. The symptoms vary depending on the type of cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

Skin Cancer Prevention and Treatment in Melbourne, FL

The dermatologists at Melbourne based Florida Dermatology Associates recommend practicing prevention, and minimizing exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun with sunscreen, protective clothing, and avoiding prolonged sun exposure during peak hours of midday.

Consult with a dermatologist if you notice any of the following changes on your skin:

  • Existing moles that change in size or shape
  • Dark moles with uneven borders and discolorations
  • A mole that becomes itchy, bleeds or changes color
  • Scaly patches or lesions
  • Persistent sores that heal and then reappear on a regular basis
  • Waxy, flesh colored lesions and growths

The areas most frequently exposed to the sun - the face, neck, scalp, arms and legs are the most vulnerable to developing skin cancer. However, malignant moles and skin lesions can develop anywhere on the body, making it important to monitor changes to the skin of even seemingly "safe" areas, like the feet. Because it can be hard to self monitor every part of the body, like the back and areas of the scalp, regular check ups with a dermatologist are the best way to ensure that the skin is healthy and to catch any changes as they develop.

Find a Dermatologist in Melbourne, FL

Early detection is essential for successfully treating skin cancer. Getting regular check ups and monitoring new growths or changes to existing moles or the texture of the skin is the best way to catch skin cancer early. For more information, contact Florida Dermatology Associates by calling (321) 768-1600 to schedule an appointment today.