Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, with nearly 100,000 people expected to receive a melanoma (the most dangerous skin cancer) diagnosis this year. At Associates in Dermatology, the team of exemplary dermatology specialists provides complete skin cancer care in three offices in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Punta Gorda, Florida. To schedule your appointment, call the office nearest you or click the online appointment booking tool now.
There are several main types of skin cancer, and each looks different. From the most common to the rarest, these types are:
Basal cell carcinoma typically appears as a skin-colored round lesion, a whitish bump, or a pink-colored skin patch. This type of skin cancer usually appears on the head, neck, or arms but can develop anywhere.
Squamous cell carcinoma frequently appears as a scaly-looking skin patch or a hard red growth. It may also show up as a growth that keeps breaking open and healing. It usually develops on the parts of your body that get lots of sun exposure, like the face, neck, back, and chest.
Melanoma is the most severe form of skin cancer and can be deadly without treatment. It often appears as a new dark growth on your skin but can also grow within an existing mole.
Merkel cell carcinoma is about 40 times rarer than melanoma. It’s an aggressive skin cancer that typically appears as a painless skin-colored, red, blue, or purple bump on the skin.
In general, be on the lookout for a change in your skin, whether it’s a new growth, an unusual patch of skin, a rapidly changing skin growth, or a sore that scabs over and heals repeatedly.
The Associates in Dermatology team performs a careful skin exam and, in most cases, removes a portion or all of the unusual lesion or growth for lab testing. This test, called a biopsy, can determine whether you have skin cancer.
A biopsy is usually the only test needed to diagnose skin cancer and determine its stage, but certain types of skin cancer (large squamous cell carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, and melanoma) may require additional tests.
The Associates in Dermatology team treats skin cancer based on the growth’s location, size, depth, and type.
Precancerous lesions may also require treatment to prevent their progression, so options include photodynamic therapy, topical medications, and cryotherapy.
Associates in Dermatology provides empathetic skin cancer support, so call the nearest office or book your appointment online now.