Early detection and prompt treatment of skin cancer can make the difference between life and death. There are several types of skin cancer that grow and spread at different rates — and you should regularly check for all of them — but it helps to know a little about each one:
Actinic keratosis: These dry, scaly patches develop after years of sun exposure. They’re precancerous growths that can progress to become squamous cell carcinoma.
Squamous cell carcinoma: This is the second most common type of skin cancer. It’s most likely to develop in people who have actinic keratosis, but can occur in anyone. It looks like a red firm bump, scaly patch, or a sore that heals then re-opens. Squamous cell carcinoma can grow deep into the skin, but treatment can prevent it from spreading.
Basal cell carcinoma: This is the most common type of skin cancer and it commonly invades surrounding tissues. Look for a flesh-colored, pearl-sized bump or pink patch of skin.
Melanoma: Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and the one that arises from moles, although it may appear suddenly as a new dark spot. Early diagnosis is critical – look for moles that have irregular borders and color variations.
When was the last time you took a good look at all the moles and spots on your body? If you’re like most people, it was either a while ago or possibly never. You have good intentions, but it’s really not easy to keep track of all the spots, and a comprehensive full-body exam takes time. This is why it’s so important to schedule an appointment to see Dr. Pothiawala for a full-body exam. She has the expertise to identify problem spots.
In addition to a full examination, Dr. Pothiawala will talk with you about your sunscreen habits, sun exposure, and medical history. Based on this information, she will assess your overall risk for developing skin cancer, recommend how often you should get a full-skin exam, and suggest changes you can make to prevent skin cancer. If any questionable moles, bumps, or spots are found, you’ll need to get a biopsy to determine whether cancer is present. Dr. Pothiawala will be with you every step of the way, so don’t hesitate to call Bethany Skin to schedule a full-skin exam.
At Bethany Medical Clinic, we accept most major medical insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed below.
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