The most common types of cancer in San Antonio TX
Some people think of skin problems as purely cosmetic issues. If we are discussing wrinkles that may be true, but most dermatological concerns are medical as well. In some cases, they can be vital to your health and wellbeing. The most striking example is skin cancer. What appears to be nothing more than a mole or rash can pose an imminent threat to your life.
Types of skin cancer
The most commonly diagnosed types of skin cancer are:
- Basal cell carcinoma is the most common skin cancer in the U.S.A., and approximately two million new cases are diagnosed every year. It is a slow-growing, local tumor. If neglected, it will continue growing and destroying more tissue. Although basal cell carcinoma rarely metastasizes, (invades other regions of the body), it is possible.
- Squamous cell carcinoma is less prevalent, but still quite common. It is similar to basal cell carcinoma but more aggressive. The tumor grows at a more rapid rate, and the risk of metastasis is greater, particularly if the cancer develops on a mucous membrane. Squamous cell carcinoma can appear anywhere, but it is most common on sun-exposed skin.
- Malignant melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer. However, the number of people affected is growing due to the popularity of tanning salons and sun bathing. It may resemble a mole with uneven edges or an irregular shape. The color may be brown, red, white, black, gray, or any combination. This is the deadliest skin cancer because it is prone to metastasize early.
Prevention and detection
Many people are scarred or worse by preventable skin cancers. The single most important thing that you can do is be sun-smart.
- Wear sunscreen
- Wear protective clothing
- Stay indoors midday, when the UV rays are the strongest
- Stay in the shade as much as possible
- Remember that UV rays can pass through clouds and windows
Unfortunately, prevention only lowers (not eliminates) your risk. If cancer develops, early detection allows for the most effective treatment, with minimal scarring. Yearly cancer screenings from your dermatologist can save your life. Additionally, it is important to be aware of your own skin, and any changes that occur. You should perform self-checks regularly, and visit a dermatologist if you notice anything unusual. Large, irregularly shaped, or multi-colored “moles” are especially cause for concern.
If you have not had a cancer screening recently, call Bucay Center for Dermatology and Aesthetics at 210-692-3000 and schedule an appointment today.