Excessive sun exposure or ultraviolet light in tanning beds can cause damage to the DNA of your skin cells, leading to skin cancer. At Allan Mineroff, MD, PC, in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, board-certified dermatologists Allan Mineroff, MD, Kristen Foering, MD, MTR, and Erin Santa, MD, FAAD, perform comprehensive skin exams to search for and diagnose melanoma, which is one of the most aggressive types of skin cancer, as well as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and other rarer types of skin cancer. Schedule your appointment by phone or online for a skin cancer screening today.
Skin cancer is a serious condition resulting from the uncontrolled growth of particular cells in your epidermis. These cells sustain damage from the sun and other ultraviolet (UV) light sources throughout your life. UV damage can disrupt the DNA of your skin cells, which kickstarts uncontrolled growth.
There are many types of skin cancer, with some being much more common than others. The type of skin cancer you have depends on the type of cell where it originates.
While many skin cancers remain localized to the skin for a long time, some can metastasize. This means they leave the confines of your skin and spread to other parts of your body.
The team at Allan Mineroff, MD, PC specializes in identifying and treating skin cancer of all kinds. The three most common types are:
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It often appears in sun-exposed areas and originates in the basal cells, which are round cells deep within the epidermis.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. Squamous cells are flat cells located near the surface of the skin that shed continuously as new ones form. Squamous cell carcinoma is a type of sun-related skin cancer that originates in these cells.
Melanoma is the most l, common cause of skin cancer death It starts in the cells of the epidermis that produce pigment, called melanocytes. It is less common than other types of skin cancer but much more likely to grow and spread Melanoma can arise in an existing mole, but most actually occur in normal skin.
The first step in identifying skin cancer is to give yourself monthly skin examinations at home. This means keeping track of the approximate shapes and sizes of moles you already have and keeping an eye out for new moles and lesions you haven’t seen before.
Start at the top of your head and go over your entire body, including the bottoms of your feet and in between your toes. Use a mirror to see places like the back of the neck and ears. Have a family member or friend help you with all the hard-to-see places. Taking a set of baseline photographs can help you identify subtle changes.
If you notice any new or unusual features, you should schedule a professional exam at AllanMineroff, MD, PC.
If you have a history of skin cancer or significant sunburns, particularly fair skin, many moles, or a family history of skin cancer, the team might also suggest coming in for regular skin examinations. These involve a head-to-toe exam in search of early signs of skin cancer.
You will notice that they use an instrument called a dermatoscope for a closer look at specific lesions during the exam.
If the team identifies any suspicious mole or lesion during a skin exam, they may take a skin biopsy that can be sent to a lab to test for cancerous skin cells.
Schedule your next comprehensive skin exam by calling Allan Mineroff, MD, PC, or booking an appointment online today.