Thanks to longer life spans, more leisure time spent outdoors, and the popularity of tanning, we have seen an increasing number of skin cancer cases at our Atlanta practice in recent years, which corresponds with the increasing skin cancer rate worldwide. But although the numbers can be frightening, skin cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer, but early detection is key. At Peachtree Dermatology Associates, our dermatologists have extensive experience with diagnosing and treating all forms of skin cancer. We understand that a skin cancer diagnosis can be scary, and we’re there every step of the way to offer guidance, sensitivity, and an arsenal of clinically proven treatments.
To learn more about your options for skin cancer treatment, request a consultation online with Peachtree Dermatology Associates in Atlanta. Or give us a call at (404) 355-1919.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer and, in fact, the most common cancer of any kind. This cancer often looks like a sore spot that doesn’t heal or a clear bump that bleeds easily. Treatment for these lesions may include surgical excision, scraping and burning (a procedure called electrodessication and curettage), and, for some early lesions, topical creams.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. It can be more aggressive than basal cell carcinoma and may have the ability to spread to other parts of your body. Some patients, particularly those with weakened immune systems, are particularly at risk for serious complications from squamous cell carcinoma. This type of cancer may look like a red, scaly bump or lump, often with crusting or bleeding. Most squamous cell carcinomas are treated with surgical removal.
Melanoma is the least common and deadliest form of skin cancer. Although it can occur anywhere on the body, the most common sites are areas of regular, intermittent sun exposure such as the back, arms, and legs. Treatment for melanoma is dependent on each particular case.
The American Academy of Dermatology, as well as the doctors at Peachtree Dermatology, recommend monthly self-exams for melanoma and other forms of skin cancer. When performing these exams, be on the lookout for the following irregularities:
- A mole that’s different from other moles on your body. We call this the “ugly duckling sign.” Melanoma may be much darker or much larger than your other moles.
- Unfamiliar moles. In 75% of cases, melanoma appears as a new mole, while in 25% of cases an existing mole has changed in size, shape, or color.
- Remember your ABCDEs. Look for a mole that is Asymmetric, has an irregular Border, is a different Color, is larger in Diameter than other moles, or one that is Evolving or changing.
Skin cancer often has very general symptoms and can often be mistaken for other skin conditions. If you observe any of the above signs, or if you notice any unexplained changes in your skin, we recommend a visit with one of our dermatologists to obtain a certain diagnosis.
In addition to having a wealth of experience related to diagnosing and treating skin cancer, each of the board-certified dermatologists at Peachtree Dermatology Associates are skilled surgeons. We’re particularly proud of the fact that Richard L. Sturm, M.D. has been chosen by Emory University to help train dermatology residents in skin cancer surgery.