What is Skin Cancer?
Skin Cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells that is typically caused by exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun.
Skin Cancer is the easiest type of cancer to diagnosis because it starts on the biggest, most visible organ of your body: your skin.
The National Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that adults see a dermatologist at least once per year for a professional skin examination.
We couldn't agree more.
What Does Skin Cancer Look Like?
The type of skin cancer depends on the type of skin cells in which it develops. It is most common in those with fair skin, but even those with dark skin can develop skin cancer. The three major types of skin cancer are:
Basal Cell Carcinoma
- Most common type
- Appearance: Flesh-colored round growth, pearl-like bump, pinkish patch of skin
- Location: Common on the head, neck, and arms
- Can grow deep to nerves and bones if not treated
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
- Second most common type
- Appearance: Red firm bump, scaly patch, or a sore that heals and then re-opens
- Location: Skin that gets sun exposure: face, ears, neck, arms, chest, back
- Can grow deep, causing damage and disfigurement
- Can develop from precancerous skin growth like actinic keratosis.
- The deadliest type of skin cancer
- Appearance: develops inside an existing mole or as a dark spot that looks different from other spots.
Other Types of Skin Cancer
- Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
- Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP)
- Merkel cell carcinoma
- Sebaceous carcinoma
Skin Cancer Treatment Options
Early detection is key to the treatment of skin cancer. Nearly all skin cancers can be cured if found and treated early. Choose Cibolo Creek Dermatology Group as your dedicated dermatologist and we can schedule your yearly skin cancer checkup. Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Monica McCrary, can remove, diagnose and treat most forms of skin cancer.
Surgery is the primary treatment for most skin cancers. For basal cell or squamous cell carcinomas, Dr. McCrary may perform an outpatient procedure using a local anesthetic. There are other options for treatment that we can perform in-office, while other treatments may require a referral from your dermatologist.