FAQS about Skin Cancer
By Robert C. Griffith, MD
August 21, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Skin Cancer  

Approximately 9,500 people in the US are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. Whether you are at an increased risk or not, it’s important to provide your skin with the best safety precautions against the harmful rays of the sun. Read on to learn more about skin cancer, how to protect yourself from developing it, and when it's best to contact your dermatologists at Griffith Dermatology in Knoxville, TN, for treatment.

What are the different kinds of skin cancer?

When people think of skin cancer they often think of melanoma, which is the deadliest form of the condition; however, there are other types of the disease, as well. These types include,

  • Basal cell carcinoma (the most common form)
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Merkel cell carcinoma (very rare)
  • Kaposi’s sarcoma
  • Lymphoma of the skin

What are skin cancer's warning signs and symptoms?

Most of the time, skin cancer appears as a rather unremarkable lesion, sore, or spot. However, if this spot doesn’t heal, or if it scabs over only to cotinually itch and bleed, then you should visit one of the skin doctors here at our Knoxville office. Additionally, when it comes to spotting cancerous moles, it’s always important to know your ABCDEs:

  • A for asymmetry: Healthy moles are completely symmetry while cancerous moles are usually asymmetrical.
  • B for border: A healthy mole will have a smooth, clearly defined border while a cancerous growth will often have a jagged, irregular, or poorly defined border.
  • C for color: A healthy mole will stay one color over time while a cancerous mole may turn multiple shades or contain dark spots.
  • D for diameter: It could be melanoma if the growth or mole is larger than a pencil eraser.
  • E for evolving: A healthy mole will look the same over time, while a cancerous mole may change shape, size, texture or color.

What are some ways to prevent skin cancer?

The best way to protect yourself against harmful UV rays is to avoid tanning beds and to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day (even on cloudy days). Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes prior to going outside and reapply after swimming or if you’ve been sweating.

Also, you should wear protective clothes (including sunglasses) and avoid being outside for long periods of time between the hours of 10am-4pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest.

Concerned? Give us a call!

Whether you just recently noticed a suspicious mole or it's just time for your annual evaluation, call Griffith Dermatology in Knoxville, TN, today at (865) 588-1361 to book your next appointment.

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