Skin Cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. There are numerous types of cancer that can affect the skin but Malignant Melanoma and Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC) are the most frequent types of skin cancer encountered. NMSC is comprised of predominantly, Basal Cell Carcinoma (the most common skin cancer) and Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Melananocytes (pigment producing cells), Basal Cell and Squamous Cell are part of the normal cells in the skin and all provider useful function in normal, healthy skin. When these cells are exposed to prolonged or high amounts of radiation, typically in the form of ultraviolet rays from the sun, they can become damaged and start to grow without control leading to Melanoma, in the case of Melanocytes, Basal Cell Cancer, in Basal Cells, and Squamous Cell Carcinoma, in Squamous Cells. Changes in the skin appearance, like dark, irregular shaped moles, new skin growths and non-healing sores and the most common indicators of concern and should prompt people to get a thorough skin examination. It is also a great idea to have at least an annual, throrogh skin exam if you have a personal history of excessive sun exposure or a personal or family history of skin cancer. Those people with numerous previous skin cancers and sun-damage may need to be seen more frequently for treatment or preventative care. It is important to understand tht having a primary relative (Father, Mother, Brother or Sister) with a history of skin cancer is believed to increase a perso's risk of getting skin cancer by 50%, especially if it is present in numerous primary relatives. Obviously, skin protection is essential to try and prevent additional damage, but thorough skin examinations are the key to early identification and treatment of skin cancers.
Call Mohave Dermatology in Las Vegas, Pahrump or Mesquite today to schedule an examination.