What you need to know about skin cancer

Skin cancer is a serious form of cancer, but luckily, it is also one of the easiest to spot! Skin cancer develops directly on the skin’s surface and may appear as a wound, scab, growth, or mole. With routine evaluations, you can stay abreast of changes in the skin that may be indicative of potential areas of skin cancer. Dr. Neelam Patel and her team at Magnolia Dermatology of Clarksville, TN, encourage patients to be proactive and screen for skin cancer annually.

Knowledge is power!

Below are a few things you should know about skin cancer:

  • Prevalence: Skin cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer globally and in the United States. It is estimated that approximately one in five adult Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in time.
  • Types of Skin Cancer: There are three major types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Melanoma is the most dangerous form, as it can metastasize if not detected early.
  • Risk Factors: Excessive exposure to ultraviolet, or UV, radiation from either the sun or tanning beds greatly increases a patient’s risk of developing skin cancer. Other risk factors include having a fair skin tone, a family history of skin cancer, the presence of certain types, and a large number of moles.
  • Early Detection: Regular self-examinations and dermatologist check-ups can help detect skin cancer at its earliest stages when it’s most treatable. Changes in the size, shape, color, or texture of a mole or a new growth on the skin should not be ignored. These skin cancer spots may appear as nothing much but maybe the early signs of cancerous moles or growths.
  • Prevention: Regular usage of broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, seeking shade during peak sunlight hours, and wearing protective clothing can significantly reduce the risk of skin cancer. Avoiding tanning beds is also crucial for prevention.

What is the best skin cancer treatment?

What suits one skin cancer patient is not always suitable for another. This is why our board-certified dermatologist often recommends that patients with a definitive diagnosis take time to speak to an experienced professional about treatment options. This may include radiation, chemotherapy, or excision methods.

Who can I call for a skin cancer screening?

Requesting a skin cancer screening annually is the best way to be proactive about spotting signs of skin cancer. If you live in the area of Clarksville, TN, and want to speak to Dr. Neelam Patel about screening for skin cancer, call (931) 551-2929 to make an appointment at our office, located at 276 Warfield Boulevard. We also proudly serve patients in the communities of Nashville, Fort Campbell, Pleasant View, and, TN.