From the day I began to show interest in dermatology, family, friends, and patients have frequently asked, “Does this spot look like cancer?”.
Dermatologists diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions, however, a significant portion of our practice is dedicated to skin cancer prevention and treatment. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and may occur in all individuals, regardless of skin color. On average, 1 in 5 Americans develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Luckily, skin cancer is one of the few cancers that you can SEE! If detected early, all types of skin cancer, including melanoma, are highly treatable.
In honor of Skin Cancer Awareness month, here are a few tips for detecting skin cancers in their early stages.
- Asymmetry: one half of the mole is unlike the other half
- Border: the mole has an irregular or scalloped border
- Color: the color of the mole varies from one area to another
- Diameter: the diameter of the mole is greater than 6 mm (or larger than the size of a pencil eraser)
- Evolution: the mole is unlike other moles on your body or the mole is changing in size, shape, or color
Be mindful of any new or suspicious growths on your skin, or any spots that are changing, itching, or bleeding.
If you are concerned about a spot on your skin, make an appointment with Atlas Dermatology. We would love to take care of you!
Joshua M. Pitre, MD
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