Every diagnosis of skin cancer is serious, with the potential for disfigurement or even death. Yet the overall cure rate is excellent with early detection. The team at Associates in Dermatology helps patients across the
Westlake, Middleburg Heights, Lorain, western greater Cleveland, and Lorain County, OH area watch for the first signs of skin cancer and get the necessary treatment to maintain skin health.
Recognizing skin cancer symptoms
Our providers recommend starting your skin cancer prevention strategy with a professional full-body screening. The doctor maps all existing spots, examining suspicious ones under magnification. This exam serves as a baseline for future screenings. You also receive instructions on how to perform a monthly self-check to watch for signs of skin cancer.
What does melanoma skin cancer look like? It is easy to remember if you know the alphabet:
- A – Asymmetry – if you drew a line down the middle of the spot, would the halves look different?
- B – Are borders of the spot jagged or scalloped?
- C – While benign spots come in many colors, blue, gray, black, or a spot containing multiple colors is a red flag.
- D – Is the diameter larger than 6mm (about the size of a pencil eraser)?
- E – Is the spot evolving? Here we are referring to changes in shape, size, elevation, color, or texture. Has it started to itch, feel tender, or seep?
- F – Does a spot just look “funny” (odd)? Sometimes referred to as the “ugly duckling,” some lesions just stand out as different. They are often ones which need to be checked professionally.
What do basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma look like?
Basal cell carcinoma is the most frequently diagnosed form of skin cancer. This type of lesion presents as a pearl-like bump, whitish, flesh-toned, or pinkish in color.
Squamous cell carcinoma appears as a firm red bump or patch of scaly skin. It may present as a sore that heals, then re-opens.
Options in skin cancer treatment in Westlake, OH
If the dermatologist suspects a spot could be cancerous, a biopsy can be performed and evaluated right away by our on-site dermatopathologist. Then, the doctor designs a personalized treatment plan to remove the lesion and minimize the risk of cancer recurring or spreading, with as little tissue destruction as possible.
Our dermatologists have many modalities at their disposal with selection based on the type and stage of the lesion, as well as the area of the body. Your treatment may involve one or a combination of:
- Excision or surgical destruction
- Chemical peel
- Photodynamic therapy
- Other medications
Mohs micrographic surgery may be recommended for skin cancer on the face or other delicate areas, or for lesions that have recurred. This precise technique involves the removal of one layer at a time, with an evaluation under magnification, until no further cancer cells are evident.
Call (440) 482-8323 to schedule skin cancer screening or treatment at Associates in Dermatology.