Goodman Dermatology and Mohs Surgery

Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer in Peoria, AZ

Your skin cancer risk accumulates over time, making adults and seniors the most at-risk groups for developing skin cancer. Your dermatologist is an expert at the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer.

What Is Skin Cancer and What Are the Types of Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is the development of abnormal, mutated skin cells. It can develop in different skin cells, in different layers of your skin. The most common types of skin cancer are:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma, affecting squamous cells in the upper layers of the skin
  • Basal cell carcinoma, affecting the basal cells in the deeper layers of skin
  • Melanoma, which is the most aggressive form of skin cancer

Causes of Skin Cancer

The most common cause of skin cancer is excessive, unprotected exposure to ultraviolet light, usually from the sun. You can also develop skin cancer from skin contact with toxic substances or from having a chronic medical disease like an organ transplant, cancer or HIV/AIDS.

Risk Factors for Skin Cancer

Your risk of skin cancer increases if you:

  • Have fair skin and freckles
  • Have light eyes and hair
  • Sunburn easily
  • Have excessive sun exposure

Warning Signs of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer signs may be subtle, and it’s helpful to know what to look for. You should look for moles that are:

  • Large, with a diameter greater than 6 millimeters
  • Irregularly shaped, with uneven borders
  • Itching, oozing, or bleeding
  • Growing back after previous removal

You should also look for scaly, red patches of skin that don’t resolve, or that are becoming larger, itchy, or painful.

How Skin Cancer Screenings with a Dermatologist Can Help You

Skin cancer screenings are recommended every 6 to 12 months, or monthly if you have a history of skin cancer. Screenings are critical to diagnose skin cancer early, so you can receive early treatment and the best outcome.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Skin Cancer

Diagnosis of skin cancer is typically done with a tissue biopsy. Your dermatologist will remove a small tissue sample and examine it for cancerous cells. Biopsy and treatment can be performed with Mohs surgery, which is a process of removing abnormal tissue layer-by-layer and examining each layer under a microscope until cancer-free layers are found. Other treatment options include cryosurgery, curettage and desiccation, radiation therapy, surgical excision, and chemotherapy.

How You Can Help Prevent Skin Cancer

Prevention is the key, so you need to protect your skin when you go out in the sun. Remember to:

  • Apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day
  • Apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50 has a high risk of skin cancer
  • Try to avoid being out in the sun during the hours of 10 AM to 2 PM, when UV rays are the most harmful
  • Do a self-check of your skin regularly, looking for abnormal areas of skin

Want To Know More?

To learn more about skin cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, call Dr. Matthew Goodman at Goodman Dermatology and Mohs Surgery in Peoria, AZ. Call (623) 254-7375 today.

Our Location