Skin Cancer Types and Causes
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting adults in the U.S. In fact, one out of every five adults will develop a form of skin cancer at some point during their lives. Seeing a dermatologist or skin doctor regularly for skin cancer screenings helps with early detection, which can give you an improved prognosis if skin cancer ever develops. At Central Wyoming Skin Clinic, Dr. Scott Bennion and Dr. Matthew Green are your Casper, WY, skin doctors for the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer.
Skin Cancer Types and Causes
Two common types of skin cancer affecting adults in the U.S. are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The least common type of skin cancer is melanoma, but it is responsible for more deaths than any other type of skin cancer. Early detection of melanoma and other types of skin cancer can increase the effectiveness of treatment and dramatically improve a patient’s long-term prognosis. Common causes of melanoma and many other types of skin cancer include extensive sun exposure, severe sunburns, and using tanning beds.
Signs of Skin Cancer
Unusual changes to the skin can be signs of possible skin cancer. See your Casper, WY, skin doctor or dermatologist right away if you notice any unusual changes to your skin. Additionally, scheduling skin cancer screenings regularly allow the doctor to monitor your skin for any changes. Some signs of skin cancer include:
- Speckled brown spots on the skin
- Patches of red or pink scaly lesions
- Changes in the appearance of existing moles
- Sudden bleeding or itching of existing moles
- Waxy and translucent come-shaped growths
- Black or brown streaks under the fingernails or toenails
- Unexplained sores that repeatedly re-open after healing
Skin Cancer Treatments
Many effective options are available for treating different types of skin cancer. A Casper, WY, skin doctor can recommend an appropriate treatment option for each patient’s specific type and stage of skin cancer. Treatments for skin cancer include:
- Surgical excision — Surgical removal of the tumor from the skin.
- Cryosurgery — Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze off the tumor.
- Radiation therapy — Radiation is targeted at the affected area to kill cancer skills.
- Curettage and desiccation — Scraping out the tumor and applying an electric current to kill any remaining cancer cells.
- Mohs micrographic surgery — Mapping of the affected skin tissue to minimize the removal of healthy skin tissue.
- Prescription medicated creams — Applied topically to the skin to help stimulate the body’s immune system to target the cancer cells.
See a skin doctor if you have developed any unusual changes in your skin. If skin cancer is present, the doctor can develop an individualized treatment plan for you. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Bennion or Dr. Green, your Casper, WY, skin doctors, contact Central Wyoming Skin Clinic at (307) 234-0003.