One in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives. Since skin cancer is so common, it's a good idea to inform yourself about the causes and risk factors of the disease. Regular check-ups at a dermatologist are also advisable since early detection of skin cancer dramatically increases your chances of recovery. Dr. Anthony Dee at the Dermatologic Center of Excellence provides a wide array of dermatological services to help his clients in Buffalo, NY, or Clarence, NY, avoid or beat skin cancer.
An Overview of Skin Cancer
There are three types of skin cancer, of which two are more common and less dangerous than the third type, called melanoma. The most common form of skin cancer is called basal cell carcinoma since it forms in the basal cells. You may have this cancer if you have flesh-colored or pink bumps on your skin. It's typically not life-threatening since it doesn’t spread to other parts of the body.
The second-most common form of skin cancer is called squamous cell carcinoma. Symptoms of this type of cancer include scaly patches of skin or firm pink nodules. Melanoma is the third and most dangerous form of cancer since it tends to rapidly spread to other organs. Signs that you may have melanoma include brown patches or bumps on the skin, or moles that change in color or size.
Becoming aware of the risk factors for skin cancer can help you make smarter decisions when it comes to your skin’s health. There are multiple factors that may increase your chances of developing skin cancer. If you have lighter skin or freckles, you are more prone to contracting the disease. Here are a few other risk factors:
- Blue or green eyes, or blond or red hair
- Many moles
- A history of skin cancer in the family
- Old age
- A weakened immune system
- The human papilloma virus (HPV)
- Previous skin cancer
Regardless of the risk factors mentioned above, most skin cancers are caused by the harmful ultraviolet (UV) of the sun. However, UV rays can also come from artificial sources, such as sunbeds or mercury-vapor lamps. It is worrying to note that the UV treatment that’s used to alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis may also cause cancer.
Support for Skin Cancer Patients
Dr. Dee offers skin cancer support in the Buffalo, NY, or Clarence, NY, area. He can help you maintain healthy skin to avoid skin cancer, or he can provide the necessary treatment if you have contracted the disease. To learn about prevention or to schedule a skin cancer consultation, call the Dermatologic Center of Excellence at (716) 759-7759.