If you have received a skin cancer diagnosis from your doctor or dermatologist, you are probably wrestling with dozens of questions and uncertainties.
While it is true that skin cancer is one of the most common and least deadly forms of cancer it is still a significant risk to your health and well-being.
The most serious type of skin cancer, melanoma, can develop anywhere on your body. It develops within the cells that create skin pigment. Pacific Northwesterners tend to downplay the danger of skin cancer, thinking our cloudy climate is protection enough from the UV rays that increase the risk of melanoma. But, cloud cover is a poor substitute for sunscreen, not to mention risk from alternative UV sources such as tanning beds.
Since the number of patients being diagnosed with melanoma has been increasing every year, especially among women under 40, it is more important than ever to learn the warning signs of melanoma and other skin cancers:
Identifying skin cancer early easy as ABC(DE):
A is for asymmetrical: Look for moles with that are less rounded than others near them, especially if their two halves appear very different.
B is for border: Moles containing melanoma are often characterized by a border that is irregular, scalloped, or notched.
C is for color: Identify for moles that contain multiple colors, especially with an uneven distribution of color.
D is for diameter. You should consult your doctor immediately if you spot any new growth in moles larger than ¼ inch across.
E is for evolution. Look for change over time: Has the mole changed in shape, color, or size? Has it developed any unusual symptoms like itching or bleeding?
If your melanoma was detected early, Puyallup Surgical Consultants may be able to excise the tissue in a simple office visit.
Our clinical care team is also prepared to complete more extensive forms of melanoma removal such as eliminating an additional layer of healthy skin and tissue around the melanoma or removing nearby lymph nodes. Whatever degree of surgical care your melanoma may require, Puyallup Surgical Consultants will provide the care your body needs.