Skin Cancer Screening near Chattanooga, TN
Skin Cancer Testing and Treatment
Wearing sunscreen and protective gear anytime you are exposed to the sun is important to preventing skin damage and skin cancer.
Though people with fair skin that burns easily are more at risk for developing skin cancer, everyone is at risk for skin cancer. Regardless of your skin tone, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect your skin from overexposure. Protecting your skin from extensive sun exposure can also help prevent wrinkles, sunspots, and uneven skin tone.
If you notice a change in your moles or would like to schedule a routine skin cancer screening, contact Uderm to meet with our board-certified dermatologists for skin cancer screening and diagnosis. Dr. Jonathan Miller is a fellowship-trained Mohs micrographic and reconstructive surgeon and can provide you with extensive care following a positive diagnosis of skin cancer. To schedule your skin cancer screening and treatment at our dermatology office in near Chattanooga, TN, please call (423) 206-2777 or request an appointment online.
How To Protect Your Skin From Cancer
- Limit direct sunlight during the hours of 10 am and 4 pm when the UV rays are strongest.
- Monitor the UV index to prevent overexposure on days when the Index is moderate or higher.
- Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF on any exposed skin, and don’t forget to re-apply at least every 2 hours. The effectiveness of sunscreen depends on the SPF, which is the sun protection factor, and most dermatologists recommend at least 30 SPF. A broad-spectrum sunscreen will protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
- Wear clothing and other protective gear, like a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, to increase sun protection and decrease potential damage.
What Are The Types of Skin Cancer?
There are different types of skin cancer that have different warning signs and will look differently on your skin.
Melanoma often resembles moles and are usually black or brown. Asymmetry, an uneven border, and having a variety of colors are signs that a mole is malignant Melanoma. It is the most common form of cancer in people ages 25 – 29, but people of all ages should check their skin each month to detect abnormalities early on.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most frequently occurring type of skin cancer, and almost half of Americans will have either basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma at least once by the age of 65. This type of skin cancer typically looks like sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or a scar.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
The warning signs of Squamous Cell Carcinoma are3 a thick, rough, scaly patch that will bleed if irritated. It can also look like an open sore or a wart.
An odd-looking mole might just seem like an abnormality to some people, but it can be a sign of something much more serious. Dermatologists are the only ones who can tell if a mole is cancerous, so be sure to schedule an appointment with Uderm if you notice a discolored mole.
Schedule a Consultation with Uderm to discuss Skin Cancer Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention near Chattanooga, TN
The board-certified dermatologists at Uderm provide skin cancer screenings during exams to identify any moles or lesions that may be skin cancer. If skin cancer is confirmed, our dermatologists will discuss the treatment option based on your diagnosis. To schedule your skin cancer screening or Mohs surgery consultation at our dermatology office in Ooltewah, TN, please call (423) 206-2777.
Skin Cancer FAQ
Skin cancers can take on many appearances. It can appear as a mole that has changed in color. It can also appear as a growing or bleeding pink or flesh-colored bump on which had been previously normal skin.
Skin cancer can appear anywhere on the body but is most commonly found in areas with significant sun exposure and/or sunburns. (I.e., scalp, face, nose, and ears.)
Spots that start to bleed along with any unexplained bumps that don’t go away and non-healing sores that last longer than 8 weeks should be evaluated for skin cancer. Any new or preexisting moles that begin to change in size, shape, or color should prompt a visit to your dermatologist to rule out skin cancer.
Generally, a person does not feel any different when they have skin cancer. If the spot bleeds or is a non-healing sore it could require some type of wound care and/or bandage.
Some types of sunspots, vascular lesions, or benign growths could be mistaken for skin cancer without a proper diagnosis by your dermatologist.
If a person is not doing self-skin checks, they could possibly have skin cancer for months to years without knowing it.
The spread of skin cancer is dependent on the type of cancer. The more aggressive types, like melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma, can quickly spread to anywhere in the body in a short amount of time.
Generally, skin cancer is not painful but some types, such as squamous cell carcinoma, can be tender to the touch.
- Melanoma can look like a brown mole that is changing in size, shape, color or feel. It can also look like a growing or bleeding pink bump that doesn’t go away.
- Basal cell carcinoma skin cancer can appear as a pearly pink bump, scaly spot, or non-healing sore.
- Squamous cell carcinoma skin cancer can appear as a scaly pink spot, bump, or non-healing sore.
- Melanoma is a dangerous form of skin cancer because it can rapidly spread to other areas inside the body. It can occur anywhere on the skin, including areas that are usually protected from the sun.
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) – collectively known as “non-melanoma skin cancer” (NMSC).
- Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare, but aggressive type of cancer that can spread quickly to other parts of the body.
There are a number of other, less common skin cancers, including but not limited to atypical fibroxanthoma (superficial pleomorphic sarcoma), mucinous carcinoma, dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP), sebaceous carcinoma, and microcystic adnexal carcinoma (MAC).
Skin cancer is correctly diagnosed with a biopsy.
Treatment for skin cancer depends on many factors, including the type, size and location of a skin cancer. Creams that trigger the immune system to fight off skin cancer may be used for some early cancers. Other cancers are treated with surgery via curettage (scraping off) or cutting out the skin cancer. If you have skin cancer, your dermatologist will help you decide which is the best treatment for you.
Skin cancer staging depends on the type of tumor. It is typically categorized into stages 0 through 4, and can help determine the extent of cancer in the body. Often used in melanoma, staging is determined based on tumor size, depth, location, and spread of the skin cancer.