Skin Cancer Screening
Dermatology focuses on the diseases of the skin, hair and nails. At Dermatology and Plastic Surgery of Arizona we know the importance of maintaining healthy skin not only for your outward appearance but also for your overall health. We are here to help you with any condition that might be of concern. We also can help educate you regarding healthy skincare habits, skin disease prevention and maintenance.
Dr. Weyer’s primary focus is in skin cancer evaluation, management and treatment. In addition, he provides full service dermatology care treating all aspects of skin disease.
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed type of cancer. The three most common malignant skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point of their lives. Most cases are caused by over-exposure to UV rays from the sun or tanning beds. At Dermatology and Plastic Surgery of Arizona we have the unique ability to provide comprehensive medical, surgical and reconstructive treatments for skin cancer under one roof.
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. There are approximately 2.8 million cases of basal cell carcinoma diagnosed in the US each year. These cancers are abnormal growths or lesions that develop on the head and neck. Basal Cell Carcinoma’s may look like open sores, shiny bumps, red patches, pink growths or even scar-like areas that are white and yellow. They are caused by UV exposure and can highly disfigure the site if they are allowed to grow. They are prone to bleed if bumped and will crust over. There are different types of basal cell carcinoma:
- Most common type on the face
- Small, shiny, skin colored or pinkish lump
- May have a central ulcer so its edges appear rolled
- Bleeds spontaneously then will heal over
- Tends to occur in younger patients
- Often multiple
- Most commonly on upper trunk and shoulders
- Pink or red scaly irregular plaques
- Slowly grows over months or years
- Bleed or ulcerate easily
- Also known as sclerosing BCC
- Usually found in mid-facial sites
- Skin-colored, waxy or scar-like
- Prone to recur
- Brown, blue or greyish lesion
- Nodular or superficial histology
- May resemble melanoma
- Mixed basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
- Potentially more aggressive than other basal cell carcinoma’s (BCC)
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. Around 450,000 new cases of squamous cell carcinoma are diagnosed every year. Squamous Cells can occur on any area of the body but are most commonly found in areas that are frequently exposed to the sun. These areas may include ears, lower lip, face, scalp, neck, hands, arms and legs. People who have fair skin, light hair and blue or green eyes are at highest risk of developing Squamous Cell Carcinomas. People who have had basal cell carcinoma are more likely to develop a squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous Cell Carcinoma’s typically have a thick, rough or scaly look to them. They often look like warts and sometimes appear as open sores.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 120,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed in the US each year. They are most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds and often resemble moles or even develop from moles. The majority of melanomas are black or brown but can also be skin-colored. If melanoma is recognized and treated early, it is almost always curable. If melanomas are not recognized early, it can advance and spread to other parts of the body which can be very difficult to treat and can be fatal. The warning signs of melanomas are also known as the ABCDEs.
- ASYMMETRY in shape and color
- BORDER irregularity: ragged, scalloped or blurred borders
- COLOR variation: when the color of the mole is not uniform in color and has multiple shades
- DIAMETER greater than 6 mm
- EVOLVING: any changes in the ABCDs over time
The first signs can appear in one or more atypical moles. It is extremely important to get to know your skin and recognize any changes in the moles on your body. Individuals should check their moles on a monthly basis for any changes. Dr. Christopher Weyer recommends taking a picture of your moles to keep track of any changes overtime. If a particular mole displays one or more of these signs or changes, you should consult a dermatologist for evaluation.