Kravitz and Henry 
Burke
Dermatology

Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the most prevalent of all types of cancers. It is estimated that more than one million Americans develop skin cancer every year.

Fair-skinned people who sun burn easily are at a particularly high risk for developing skin cancer.

ACTINIC KERATOSES: are considered the earliest stage in the development of skin cancer. They are small, scaly, spots most commonly found on the face,ears, neck, lower ams, and back of the hands in fair-skinned individuals who have had significant sun exposure. Actinic Keratoses can be treated by cryotherapy ( freezing ), topical chemotherapy, curettage and chemical peeling. Proper use of sunscreens can help prevent actinic keratoses even after extensive sun damage has already occurred.


BASAL CELL CARCINOMA: is the most common type of skin cancer and appears frequently on the head, neck, and hands as a small , fleshy pearly bump, nodule or red patch. They usually do not grow quickly. If left untreated they often begin to bled, crust over, heal and repeat the cycle. They may be treated by electrodessication and curettage ( scrapping), surgical excision, cryosurgery or Mohs surgery.


SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA: is the second most common skin cancer. Typically located on the rim of the ear, face, lips, and mouth, this cancer may appear as a bump, or a red, scaly patch. SCC can develop into large masses and become invasive. Unlike basal cell carcinoma, this form of cancer can spread to other body parts; therefore , it is important to get early treatment. When found early and treated properly, the cure rate for both basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas is over 95 percent.


MALIGNANT MELANOMA: is the most deadly of all skin cancers. Every year, an estimated 8,000 Americans will die from melanoma; it is projected that greater than 108,000 Americans will develop melanoma annually. Warning signs of melanoma include: change in the surface of a mole, scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or the appearance of a new bump, spread of pigment from the border of a mole into surrounding skin, change in sensation including itchiness, tenderness or pain.

Melanoma may appear suddenly or begin in or near a mole, or another dark spot in the skin. It is important to know the location and appearance of the moles on the body to detect changes early. Any changing mole must be examined by a dermatologist. Early melanoma can be removed while still in the curable stage.