Skin Cancer: When You Need to See a Doctor in Chevy Chase

Skin cancer occurs when there is abnormal skin cell growth. Several risk factors of skin cancers include a family history of the disease, fair skin, excessive exposure to sunlight, and exposure to arsenic compounds. Like most other cancers, skin cancer often doesn’t have any severe symptoms, but there could be evident signs to note. In this post, we are discussing more on these symptoms and when you need to find the best Chevy Chase MD, skin cancer specialist

Categories of Skin Cancers

There are two distinct categories of skin cancers. The first one is called squamous cell skin cancer, which typically develops in areas more exposed to sunlight, such as the head. Basal or squamous cell skin cancers don’t tend to be spread as quickly and can be treated. The second category is called melanoma, which develops because of the abnormal growth of melanocytes. Melanoma can affect any part of the body and can be treated when diagnosed early. With melanoma, the chances of the cancer spreading are much higher. 

Understanding the Symptoms

Not everyone with skin cancer has similar symptoms. However, it is wise to check for possible skin changes. Commonly-known symptoms include:

  • Unusual skin lesions- You may find a new mole, a bump that wasn’t there before, dark spots, skin sores. 
  • Changing skin lesions- Changes in existing moles or skin lesions or changes in the edges of the moles. There could be possible changes in skin color in a particular area or around a lesion. 
  • New skin changes that seem to be growing in size– If you have a mole that has changed size or color, you may need to check with a doctor. 
  • Family history- Some of these symptoms may not look serious, but if you have a family history of skin cancer, keep a watch on unusual growth and skin changes. 

How Is Skin Cancer Treated?

There are various treatments available for skin cancer. A common treatment line is cryotherapy, where the mole/unusual skin growth is frozen with liquid nitrogen. Your doctor may also consider an excisional surgery to remove the growth and skin surrounding it. If the growth is bigger, Mohs surgery can be done to remove the cancerous cells in layers. Standard cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation, and photodynamic therapy, can also treat skin cancer.

Check with a doctor to know more about skin cancer, and don’t delay in going for a screening if you have evident symptoms.

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