Our Dermatologist Blog

Posts for tag: skin cancer

By Florida Dermatology Associates
May 28, 2020
Category: Skin Care
Tags: skin cancer  

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Stay in the shade or indoors during peak sun times--10 am to 4 pm.
  3. Wear a broad-brimmed hat and long sleeves in the sun.
  4. Avoid artificial tanning.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

By Florida Dermatology Associates
April 13, 2020
Category: Dermatology
Tags: skin cancer  

If you are worried that you may have some type of skin cancer, Florida Dermatology Associates can help. Skin cancers comes in various different types, and our dermatologists, Dr. Ruben Moreno and Dr. Frank Lee, are experts in diagnosing and treating them. In most cases, the key to curing skin cancer is early detection and treatment. Here in our Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay, Port St. John, Suntree, and Titusville, FL, offices, we use the most advanced diagnostic tools for identifying all kinds of skin cancers. With that said, here are FAQs on skin cancer that you should know.

Which Skin Cancers are The Most Common?

The most common skin cancer types include melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. The latter two are classified as non-melanoma cancers.

What Skin Cancer Symptoms Should I Watch Out For?

Consult one of our dermatologists in our Palm Bay, Cocoa Beach, Port St. John, Titusville, or Suntree FL, locations if you notice any of these skin cancer symptoms:

  • Melanoma: A mole that grows bigger with changes in shape or color, a painful or bleeding mole, a new mole that seems to grow very rapidly, and/or black or dark discoloration on the fingernail.
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Red and crusted nodules on skin that’s usually exposed to the sun, but can likewise develop in the genitalia or mouth.
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma: A sore that doesn’t heal, a shiny pimple or nodule, red rough patches, and/or scar-like skin patches.

What are Skin Cancer Risk Factors?

Melanoma risk factors include:

  • Having many irregular moles
  • Having green or blue eyes and blonde or red hair
  • A previous skin cancer diagnosis
  • A family history of skin cancer

Non-Melanoma risk factors include:

  • Having fair skin
  • Arsenic exposure
  • Heavy sun exposure
  • Having a compromised immune system
  • Previous radiation therapy
  • Multiple blistering sunburns
  • Using tanning beds
  • A previous skin cancer diagnosis
  • Northern European ancestry
  • Certain HPV virus forms

How is Skin Cancer Treated?

The most treatable types of skin cancers are non-melanoma types. However, if melanoma is diagnosed and treated before it has had a chance to spread to your lymph nodes, there’s a chance that it can also be cured. The primary goal of skin cancer treatments is to remove all the cancerous cells. Usually, the gold standard treatments are surgical, but non-surgical procedures may likewise be recommended under specific circumstances.

Common surgeries used for treating skin cancer include standard excision, Mohs micrographic surgery, and electrodesiccation and curettage. Basically, the kind of surgical procedure used will significantly be dependent on the tumor’s type, location, and depth. Chemotherapy, radiation, and/or immunotherapy may also be recommended for advanced skin cancer cases or when the patient isn’t fit to undergo surgery.
 

For More In-Depth Information on Skin Cancer, Give Us a Call.

Contact Florida Dermatology Associates to arrange your appointment with Dr. Ruben Moreno or Dr. Frank Lee. You can reach our Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay, Suntree, and Titusville, FL, offices at (321) 768-1600 and reach our Port St. John office at (321) 264-6266.

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.