Skin cancer affects millions of people each year and, unfortunately, can strike people with any skin type at any age. However, taking specific steps such as monitoring your skin at home and getting routine skin checks by your dermatologist will ensure that if you develop a cancerous lesion, it is caught early when it is easiest to remove and treat. At DSA Dermatology in Plano, Texas, we provide routine skin cancer screenings and effective treatment options for patients who have cancerous lesions. Read on to learn more about the types of skin cancer and signs that may indicate that you have a suspicious spot that should be evaluated.
Types of skin cancer
There are multiple types of skin cancer, but the three following types are the most common:
- Basal cell carcinoma: While this type of skin cancer frequently occurs in people with light skin, it can occur in any skin color. It typically looks like a flesh-colored growth, a pinkish patch of skin, or a pearl-like bump. Early treatment for basal cell carcinoma is necessary because it can grow deep into the skin, causing permanent damage and disfigurement and even penetrating the bones and nerves.
- Squamous cell carcinoma: This kind of skin cancer typically occurs in areas of the skin that are most exposed to the sun, such as the face, arms, chest, neck, and back. It can also grow deep into the skin and tends to look like a scaly patch on the skin, a red bump that is firm, or a wound that doesn’t heal over time. Squamous cell carcinomas can be more aggressive than basal cell carcinomas as they can occasionally metastasize or go to other distant parts of the body.
- Melanoma: The deadliest type of skin cancer because it is most likely to spread to other areas of the body. It can form within a mole that you already have or develop suddenly. The “ABCDE” warning signs to identify melanoma are
- Asymmetry – The melanoma is often asymmetrical, which means the shape isn’t uniform.
- Border – The melanoma often has borders that aren’t well defined or are irregular in shape.
- Color – Melanoma lesions are often more than one color or shade.
- Diameter – Melanoma growths usually are larger than 6mm in diameter.
- Evolution – Melanoma will often change characteristics, such as size, shape, or color.
If you notice any of the ABCDEs, it can help you identify melanoma early on when treatment is most likely to be successful and before cancer has had a chance to spread.
When to call your dermatologist
Being diligent about monitoring your skin for suspicious spots is the best way to ensure that you catch any potentially cancerous lesions early. If you find any spot that matches the criteria mentioned above or a mole that has an uneven color, borders, or is growing over time, it is crucial to call your dermatologist to have it evaluated.
Why Choose DSA Dermatology?
At DSA Dermatology, we bring to you the best of not one but three leading dermatologists in Plano TX,
Dr. Achtman is a board-certified Dermatologist with over three decades of experience. Having graduated from the medical school of McMaster University, he also studied at the UTSW Medical Center in Dallas, TX where he also served as Chief Resident in the Department of Dermatology. In addition to possessing extensive training and experience in cosmetic enhancement techniques, Dr. Achtman is widely known as a leading expert in the diagnosis and treatment of various skin cancers. He is an active member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. Dr. Achtman goes the extra mile to understand your medical concerns and to ensure that he helps you meet your unique aesthetic goals.
Dr. Carmine G. McConnell is a board-certified physician in Plano TX. Having been trained at McMaster University, Canada, she went on to earn her board certification in Texas. Having served as Chief of Staff of her department at Plano Medical Center, she has over two decades of experience in practicing medicine in her practice and while assisting Dr. Achtman in the practice of dermatology. In addition to her extensive postgraduate training in laser therapy and aesthetic surgery, among other procedures, she possesses vast experience in both cosmetic dermatological techniques and family medicine. As a conscientious and caring physician, Dr. McConnell provides her patients with customized non-surgical treatments to help address health and aesthetic concerns related to the skin. She is also keen on helping patients understand their skin and how it can be cared for and protected.
Dr. Jordan Achtman is a board-certified dermatologist in DSA Dermatology at Plano, TX. Dr. J. Achtman graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and completed his residency in dermatology at UT Southwestern. His expertise spans general, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology. Dr. J. Achtman also has various special interests including chronic itch, infectious diseases of the skin, and the relationship between mental health and skin health. He is also very keen on helping patients form healthy skincare regimens and habits. In the hands of Dr. J. Achtman, you can be assured of innovative and cutting edge solutions for all your skin concerns.