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Doctor insights on: Skin Cancer

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Dr. Mike Bowman
905 doctors shared insights

Skin Cancer (Overview)

Skin is the largest and one of the most complex organs in the body composed of hundreds of different structures. Nearly any of these elements can degenerate into cancer. However the three most common 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 & 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

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Dr. Mike Bowman
905 doctors shared insights

Skin Cancer (Overview)

Skin is the largest and one of the most complex organs in the body composed of hundreds of different structures. Nearly any of these elements can degenerate into cancer. However the three most common 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 & 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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Living with Skin Cancer (Tip)

Living with Skin Cancer

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 dermatologist for check ups
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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Living with Skin Cancer (Tip)

Living with Skin Cancer

Most nonmelanoma skin cancers are curable if detected early, so get a skin check at least once/ year. ...See more

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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?

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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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,214 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
2,579 doctors shared insights

Melanoma (Definition)

Melanoma is a 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