What are your chances of developing the most common cancer in the United States? One in five American adults will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives, says the American Academy of Dermatology. That's why routine skin examinations with Dr. Sanjiva Goyal at Coastal Dermatology & MedSpa in Jacksonville , FL, are so vital. Count on his technical skill and compassionate manner to help you avoid this potentially deadly cancer.
Kinds of skin cancer
The most common kinds are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma which grow in the epidermis, or top layer of the skin. These cancers are readily detected and treated; plus, they do not spread quickly or affect major organs. A third cancer, however--malignant melanoma--is deadly and insidious, spreading to all major organs if not detected in its earliest stages.
Causes of skin cancer in Jacksonville
The Skin Cancer Foundation says that UV light from the sun or artificial tanning is the real culprit. Increasing age, gender (more men than women experience skin cancer), light skin tone and multiple sunburns early in life increase the chances of a skin cancer diagnosis.
Unfortunately, lack of education about skin cancer risks is risky, too. Many people do not understand the importance of applying protective sun screen products, wearing long sleeve and sun glasses on hot days or staying in the shade during peak daylight hours of 10 am to 2 pm. In other words, not knowing how to protect yourself increase your chances of developing skin malignancies.
Symptoms of skin cancer
Basically, changes in skin texture and color may indicate cancer. Also, if an existing spot or mole begins itching or bleeding, you should see Dr. Goyal right away for a skin examination. The Prevent Cancer Foundation advises the ABCDEs of mole examination to alert you to possible skin cancer risk. If you have moles, look at these characteristics:
A Moles are asymmetrical. In other words, if you were to draw a line down the middle of a mole, each side should be equal in size if the lesion is benign.
B Notched, uneven borders may indicate cancer.
C Moles are usually brown or tan. Multi-colored moles may be melanoma.
D Moles may be malignant if larger than 6 millimeters in diameter.
E Moles should not change in shape and size. Evolution may mean cancer.
Most skin cancers may be surgically excised. MOHS surgery removes a lesion layer by layer, sparing more healthy tissue. Freezing or desiccation with electric current may be options as well as radiation or chemotherapy. Dr. Goyal is a board-certified dermatologist with the expertise and experience to plan your successful treatment.
Be on guard
What you don't know about your skin may hurt you. Look for signs of cancer by examining your skin at home every month. Also, see Dr. Goyal annually if you are over 40 for a complete dermatology check-up. Coastal Dermatology & MedSpa has two locations. For Jacksonville, phone (904) 727-9123. In Ponte Vedra Beach, call (904) 567-1050.