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Doctor insights on: Skin Cancer

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Dr. Mike Bowman
957 Doctors shared insights

Skin Cancer (Overview)

A condition in which some element of your skin--which is one of the most complex organs in the body--degenerates into cancer. The three most common types of skin cancer are: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma which occur in that order and degree of aggressiveness. Although heredity plays a major role, sun exposure and tobacco use and occupational exposure are risks.


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How does skin cancer start out looking like, when it is young and small?

How does skin cancer start out looking like, when it is young and small?

"Ugly duckling": Any new skin lesion that's not obviously like your others needs to be brought to the attention of your primary care physician at your annual physical exam. A bleeding or rapidly-enlarging lesion calls for an office visit. Pigmented lesions suspicious for melanoma are usually those that look different from their neighbors and should prompt a visit. Glad you're proactive -- good for you! ...Read more

Dr. Mike Bowman
957 Doctors shared insights

Skin Cancer (Overview)

A condition in which some element of your skin--which is one of the most complex organs in the body--degenerates into cancer. The three most common types of skin cancer are: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma which occur in that order and degree of aggressiveness. Although heredity plays a major role, sun exposure and tobacco use and occupational exposure are risks.


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What are the symptoms of skin cancer?

What are the symptoms of skin cancer?

It depends: There are different types of skin cancers. For melanoma, it can present as mole or pigmented lesions that changes color, grows, ulcerates and bleeds. For squamous cell ca, early stage starts like tiny skin plaques with thick flicky skin that can grow ulcerate with heaved up margins. Basal cell ca may have different forms but check with you physcian if not sure. ...Read more

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Skin cancer (Tip)

Many non melanoma skin cancers can be treated very effectively by mohs surgery. See a dermatologist! ...See more

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Living with Skin Cancer (Checklist)

Avoid sun exposure between 10 am and 2 pm
daily
Apply sunscreen
2x day
Wear a hat outdoors on sunny days
daily
See a dermatologist for checkups
2x year
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What are the signs of skin cancer? |

What are the signs of skin cancer? |

New or changes: Get to know your skin by self-exam at least once a month. Look for new lesions or changes in pre-existing ones (color, shape, size, itches or hurts or bleeds). Some skin cancers start out by looking like a pimple but a pimple will go away, a skin cancer won't. If a lesion continues to persist or get bigger over a period of a month or 2, you should get it looked at by a dermatologist. ...Read more

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Besides a colonoscopy, mamography, skin cancer exam, can one cancer protect his/her life? Or, is it part of ones life process until diagnosis?

Besides a colonoscopy, mamography, skin cancer exam, can one cancer protect his/her life? Or, is it part of ones life process until diagnosis?

Health: Other ways to promote your health

1. Don't smoke
2. Exercise on a regular basis
3. Maintain a healthy body weight
4. Wear sunscreen
5. Have routine physicals performed by your doctor
6. Limit your consumption of alcohol

All things that sound like common sense, but we sometimes forget to do. ...Read more

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Treating Dry Skin (Checklist)

Use moisturizers regularly
Once
Use mild soap when washing your skin
Once
Limit overexposure to detergents or soaps
Once
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Would a non-dermatologist be able to diagnose skin cancer?

Yes: Family practice doctors and general surgeons also do biopsies and send them to a pathologist. ...Read more

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How is skin cancer spread through the body?

How is skin cancer spread through the body?

Skin cancer spread: Skin cancer can spread via local extension. A basal cell carcinoma given enough time, can spread around nerve endings and other structures deep into vital territory and cause loss of the eye and even spread to the brain in very rare cases. Other tumors such as melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma can invade lymphatic vessels and blood vessels and spread to other organs. ...Read more

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Treating Skin Allergies (Checklist)

Use hydrocortisone
2x day
Do not use diphenhydramine topical cream
once
Avoid the offending agent (s)
once
Find out if you are allergic to nickel, as nickel is often the cause of skin allergies
once
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Treating Skin Tags (Checklist)

Do not treat them yourself
Once
Avoid picking at them
Once
Have them removed by a doctor if needed
Once
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How do you know if you have skin cancer on your back and butt?

How do you know if you have skin cancer on your back and butt?

Biopsy: See a doctor so that if needed a biopsy may be taken to be examined by a pathologist for definitive diagnosis. ...Read more

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What causes skin cancer?

What causes skin cancer?

Sun damage, Genetics: There can be a family component to many cancers including skin cancers. This should not be taken lightly. Sun exposure is another large risk factor for skin cancer. The two together can be very dangerous. If you have a strong family history, lots of sun exposure, or any enlarging skin lesions, be evaluated by your local doctor and/or dermatologist. ...Read more

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Could cancer moles only mean skin cancer?

Could cancer moles only mean skin cancer?

Not sure: I'm really not sure how to answer your question. If you have been diagnosed by a pathologist with "cancer moles" that could mean that you have skin cancer, but most doctors do not use a term like "cancer mole". Doctors usually use more specific terms like "squamous cell carcinoma", "basal cell carcinoma", "melanoma", etc. If you could tell me exactly what the pathologist said, I could explain. ...Read more

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How do you treat skin cancer?

Surgery: Skin cancers is usually treated by surgical excision. This allows you to assess that the margins are clear and will allow you to stage the tumor appropriately. Occasionally, in poor surgical candidates, non-surgical modalities may be employed. ...Read more

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Treating a Skin Abscess (Checklist)

Clean the abscess thoroughly
Once
If the abscess is draining on its own, cover it and regularly change the dressing
Once
See your doctor if the abscess is not draining or has redness around it
Once
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Bottom lip had skin cancer, treated w/aldara over 1 yr ago. Cancer gone. Lip still huge & chapped. Nothing helps it. Tried everything w/dermatologist.

See Surg/Derm: This may very well be side effects of aldara (imiquimod). You should go see your dermatologist to find out. More importantly, you need to be sure that you don't have an underlying skin cancer. And if there is no recurrence, you can talk to a plastic surgeon or in some cases oral surgeons or ear/nose doctors about surgical options such as cheiloplasty. Where some or all of the damaged mucosa could be shaved. ...Read more

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What are your experiences with treating skin cancer using curaderm-bec5?

See below: This is from "curaderm europe" - it seems to me an attempt to advertise your product. Please quote medical evidence - published in the literature - reagrding the efficacy of your product. I would be happy to engage in a dialogue, but we need to see evidence - not merely advertising (i looked at your website - not much there in terms of real data). Skin cancer is not trivial - treat it properly! ...Read more

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Managing Pain from Cancer (Checklist)

Ask an oncologist to refer you to a cancer pain specialist
Once
Ask a pain specialist about both interventional and medication options
Once
If you have pancreatic cancer, ask about a celiac plexus block
Once
If you have neuropathy, request a trial of ketamine-based topical creams
Once
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Where are we on treatment for skin cancer? Is their a higher percentage for living with having late stage melanoma or other skin cancers?

Where are we on treatment for skin cancer? Is their a higher percentage for living with having late stage melanoma or other skin cancers?

Getting better: Most non-melanoma skin cancer is cured by surgery alone. Metastatic melanoma remains I curable, but recent treatment advances have yielded significant prolongation of survival. ...Read more

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Can you tell me if there are alternative treatments for skin cancer?

Skin Cancer: The primary treatment for most types of skin cancer is surgical removal by wide local excision. Moh's micrographic surgery may be used in certain circumstances for basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer. Melanoma may require very aggressive surgery. Non-surgical treatment of skin cancer has lower cure rates and is reserved for patients too elderly or unhealthy to undergo surgery. ...Read more

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Is it possible to cure skin cancer without surgery?

Is it possible to cure skin cancer without surgery?

Yes: Depending on the type of skin cancer, cure can be attained without surgical incisions. Radiation therapy to the skin has been used for years in treatment of skin cancers. Non invasive skin cancers can be treated with levulan and blue light therapy. Shave biopsy with fulguration is an effective technique to destroy superficial skin cancers. Many options depending on type skin cancer, location, etc. ...Read more

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Can I get skin cancer from being a couple feet away for 5+ hrs. From a reptile uvb bulb? It goes through glass before it hits me. Can't get rid ofit

Can I get skin cancer from being a couple feet away for 5+ hrs. From a reptile uvb bulb? It goes through glass before it hits me. Can't get rid ofit

Avoid it in future: Tanning lams are known to cause cancer (melanoma) which can be fatal. It does not happen right away but only on prolonged exposure over many months to years. But you should not do it anymore if you want to live peacefully. ...Read more

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Do anti-tnf drugs increase your chance for melanoma? I know there are warnings about non-melanoma skin cancer.

Do anti-tnf drugs increase your chance for melanoma? I know there are warnings about non-melanoma skin cancer.

Melanoma & Biologics: Using data from more than 13, 000 people with rheumatoid arthritis, dr wolf determined that biologic therapy is associated with increased risk for both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, but not for solid tumors, lymphomas or leukemias. These associations were consistent across different biologic therapies. ...Read more

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What race gets skin cancer more frequently than other races and what race gets osteoporosis more than other races and why is this for each ailment?

Caucasian = melanoma: For melanoma, caucasians are most at risk due to their pale skin complexion. Also, the ozone layer is getting thinner at extreme southern and northern latitudes and letting more uv rays in which contribute to melanoma. For osteoporosis, the answer is not so clear. Race is not as important as socioeconomic status and nutrition. Osteoporosis is prevented by good calcium and vitamin d intake. ...Read more

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Is skin cancer genetic?

Is skin cancer genetic?

Yes, some melanomas: There are genes for melanoma amd a family tendency to melanoma foramation so family members of patients with melanoma are urgerd to be crewed. There is also rare form of aggressive basal cell carcinoma that has a genetic marker. ...Read more

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How can you tan without risking skin cancer?

How can you tan without risking skin cancer?

Spray Tan: The only way to safely tan without any additional risk of skin cancer is using a spray bronzer. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
4,344 Doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


Dr. Travis Kidner
2,633 Doctors shared insights

Melanoma (Definition)

Cancer of the melanocyte cells. Melanocyte cells determine the color of your skin. Although these cells are primarily found in your skin, they can also be found in the bowel ...Read more


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