Posts for tag: skin cancer

By Shady Grove Dermatology
July 23, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: skin cancer  

Skin cancer is the most prevalent malignancy in the United States. Fortunately, it's highly treatable when detected early. At Shady Grove Skin_CancerDermatology, five board-certified dermatologists and their team arm patients with pertinent information about skin cancer. It's just part of the outstanding comprehensive care this Rockville medical practice offers.


FAQs about skin cancer

How common is skin cancer in Rockville and across the United States?

A full 20 percent of American adults will develop some type of skin cancer in their lifetimes, says the Skin Cancer Foundation.


What is the most common skin cancer?

Basal cell carcinoma is the most frequently occurring skin cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma ranks second. Both affect the epidermis, or top layer, of the skin.


Why is application of sun screen important?

Sun screen lotions provide excellent protection against the harmful UV rays of the sun. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends SPF 15 or higher used liberally on exposed areas of the skin, particularly during the peak sun exposure between 10 am to 4 pm. Ultraviolet radiation is a key player in skin cancer and aging.


What are skin self-examinations?

They are monthly visual inspections of your entire skin surface. Done in the privacy of your own home, self-exams look at any and all spots, freckles, and moles. You look for changes in their shape, size, borders, texture, and color. In general, your dermatologist should check any sore which does not heal in two weeks and continues to itch, bleed, or ooze. So, if something seems suspicious, get to Shady Grove Dermatology right away for expert diagnosis.


What is a biopsy?

Your physician takes a tissue sample from a suspect lesion in order to examine it for cancer cells. A biopsy also tells the doctor how advanced the disease is.


How is skin cancer treated?

Much depends on the type, location, and stage of the cancer. Surgical excision at the doctor's office is common. Cryosurgery (freezing), radiation, and drug therapies prove effective, and innovative MOHS surgery, performed at Shady Grove Dermatology, removes and analyzes lesions layer by layer, removing spots completely and sparing healthy tissue.


What's so bad about indoor tanning?

Indoor tanning exposes the skin to intense ultra-violet light, a definite cancer-causing agent, reports the US Department of Health and Human Services. The Skin Cancer Foundation states that annually, almost half a million new cases of skin cancer in the US are attributable to indoor tanning.


Learn all you can

Education about skin cancer empowers you to live a long, healthy life. Your dermatologists at Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD, excel in skin cancer care, as well as scores of other medical and aesthetic services. Call today for your skin examination at (240) 246-7417.

By Shady Grove Dermatology
July 03, 2019
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: skin cancer  

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, affecting millions. There is a 99 percent survival rate when skin Skin_Cancercancer is found in its earliest stages. Regular self-skin exams and annual skin exams by a doctor help people find early skin cancers. Shady Grove Dermatology, which is located in Rockville, MD, offers skin cancer screening and diagnostic services to their patients.

Basal cell carcinoma- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a cancer that grows on parts of your skin that get a lot of sun. The tumors start off as small "pearly" bumps, that look like flesh-colored moles or pimples that don't go away. Sometimes these growths can look dark. But you can get them on any part of your body, including your arms, trunk, or legs. BCC is the least dangerous type of skin cancer. As long as it is found early, you can be cured.

Squamous cell carcinoma- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is usually found on areas of the body damaged by UV rays from tanning beds or the sun. Sun-exposed skin includes the neck, head, chest, back, lips, ears, hands, arms, and legs. SCC tends to grow slowly. Unlike other types of skin cancer, it can spread to the bones, tissues, and lymph nodes, where it may become difficult to treat. When found early, it's easy to treat.

Melanoma- Melanoma, also known as malignant melanoma, is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Melanomas can occur anywhere on the body. Often the first sign of melanoma is a change in the color, size, shape, or feel of a mole. Most melanomas have a black-blue or black area. Melanoma may also appear as a new mole. Early diagnosis and treatment can increase the survival rate from malignant melanoma.

Merkel Cell Carcinoma- Merkel Cell Carcinoma is a rare but aggressive form of skin cancer that begins in Merkel cells that, along with nerve endings, give the skin its sense of touch. MCC is ore common in areas of the skin exposed to the sun, such as the scalp or face. The first sign of MCC is usually a painless tumor on your skin. The nodule may be skin-colored or may appear in shades of blue, red, or purple. MCC may metastasize to the bones, brain, lungs, or liver.

Kaposi Sarcoma- Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is caused by Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpes virus. KS is mostly seen in individuals with an HIV infection. It can also affect individuals with a weakened immune system. KS usually appears as lesions or tumors on the skin. They aren't itchy or painful, and they don't drain. Tumors may also develop in the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, or mouth.

Ready to take control of your health? You have the power to manage your health. If you need a mole check, call Shady Grove Dermatology at (240) 246-7417 right now to schedule your annual skin cancer screening in Rockville, MD. A simple skin cancer screening could save your life!

By Shady Grove Dermatology
October 29, 2018
Category: Skin Conditions

Learn More About Skin Cancer and Its Early Warning Signs

Skin CancerWhile we know the last thing you want to think about is skin cancer, it is extremely important that you don’t ignore the warning signs. After all, with more than 3 million Americans affected each year, skin cancer is more common than you might realize. Luckily, if skin cancer is caught soon enough, our Rockville, MD, dermatologists can treat the problem before it causes more serious and life-threatening problems. Here’s what you need to know about skin cancer, the warning signs, and your treatment options.

Different Kinds of Skin Cancer

While most people have heard of melanoma, which is the most deadly form of skin cancer, it isn’t the only kind. Skin cancer also includes basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma; both can appear just about anywhere on the body but are most likely to develop on areas of the body that are regularly exposed to the sun.

Basal cell carcinomas usually appear as flesh-colored or waxy bumps and are often found on the neck or face. Squamous cell carcinomas often develop on the ears, face, or hands, and appears as flat, red lesions that may be scaly or crusted over.

Signs of Melanoma

It’s important that you are performing a self-exam on your skin about once a month so that you are able to detect changes as soon as possible. If in doubt, call your Rockville, MD, skin doctor and let us know what symptoms you are noticing. It’s always best to play it safe when it comes to your health. Of course, there are some warning signs to look out for, including:

  • A very large mole or brown lesion (larger than the size of a pencil eraser)
  • A mole that isn’t symmetrical or has a poorly defined border
  • A mole that changes in size, shape or color
  • A mole or dark spot that bleeds

Treating Skin Cancer

In order to create a treatment plan that will be effective, we will need to perform tests to determine the type and severity of your skin cancer. In order to diagnose skin cancer, we will often take a biopsy of the lesion or growth for testing. Skin care treatments include:

  • Excisional Surgery: One of the most common treatment options, excisional surgery is a procedure that cuts away and removes the lesion, extracting some healthy skin along with it. This is an effective measure for removing both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer.
  • Mohs Surgery: Another popular way to treat skin cancer, Mohs surgery is performed by removing thin layers of the cancerous growth until the cancer is completely gone. This process takes longer than other methods, however, it is often ideal because it preserves more of the healthy skin around the cancerous growth than traditional surgery.
  • Electrosurgery: This method treats small or superficial cancerous lesions. It involves scraping the growth with a special tool before burning the area to kill remaining cancer cells. This procedure will often need to be repeated several times in order to completely remove the cancer and is not an option for patients who have cancer in difficult-to-treat areas such as the eyelids or lips, or those with more invasive carcinomas.
  • Cryosurgery: If you are dealing with superficial squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), then cryosurgery, the process of freezing the lesion, may be all you need. This procedure can be performed without anesthesia, as there is absolutely no cutting required. Sometimes multiple sessions are required to fully treat the SCCs.

Call Today

If you are noticing any suspicious growths or changes to your skin, it’s important that you have the issue checked out as soon as possible by a skin care professional. Turn to the experts at Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD, by calling (240) 246-7417.

By Shady Grove Dermatology
November 09, 2017
Category: Skin Care
Tags: moles   skin cancer  

A change in a mole can be a sign that you have skin cancer, a disease that will affect 20 percent of Americans at some point in their lives, molesaccording to The Skin Cancer Foundation. The Rockville, MD, dermatologists at Shady Grove Dermatology discuss what you should look for when you examine your moles.

When should I be concerned about a mole?

Signs that could indicate the presence of skin cancer in a mole include:

  • Size: Moles larger than a pencil eraser should be evaluated by a dermatologist.
  • Change in Color: Normal moles don't change color over your life. If your mole is cancerous or contains atypical cells, it may become red, black, pink, white or black or a combination of colors.
  • Unusual Border: Do the borders of your mole no longer look smooth? Skin cancer can cause the edges of a mole to become irregular, blurred or rough.
  • A Texture Difference: When your smooth mole becomes bumpy or you notice any other texture change, it's a good idea to schedule an appointment with our Rockville office.
  • Shape or Height Changes: Moles that become taller or change shape should also be evaluated.
  • Dryness or Itching: Dry, flaky or itchy moles can be a potential warning sign of skin cancer.
  • Pain or Swelling: Does your mole hurt when you touch it or has the skin around the mole become red and swollen? These changes are also a reason for concern.
  • Bleeding: It's not unusual for a mole to bleed if you happen to accidentally cut it or shave over it. However, if bleeding occurs when you barely bump your mole, skin cancer may be a possibility.

How do dermatologists evaluate suspicious moles?

If your dermatologist feels that the changes in your mole could indicate that you have skin cancer, they will remove all or part of the mole and send it to a laboratory for a biopsy. If the biopsy is positive, you may need to undergo a minor surgical procedure to remove lingering cancer cells. In some cases, chemotherapy or radiation treatments may also be needed.

Don't put your health at risk by ignoring changes in your moles. If you notice any of these signs, schedule an appointment with the Rockville, MD, dermatologists at Shady Grove Dermatology by calling (240) 246-7417.

By Shady Grove Dermatology
August 14, 2017
Category: Skin Care
Tags: skin cancer   skin exams  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, with skin examinationabout 77,000 new cases diagnosed in 2014. However, despite these large numbers, you can decrease your chances of late-stage skin cancer with regular skin examinations with your dermatologist. These examinations help catch skin cancer in its earliest and most curable stages. Find out more about skin examinations with Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD.

What does a skin examination involve? 
Skin examinations help your dermatologist detect early signs and symptoms of skin cancer while assessing your skin care routine and helping you find the best skin protection for you. During the appointment, your dermatologist will look over the skin from head to toe and point out any questionable moles. If they suspect cancer, your doctor will biopsy the skin and send it to a laboratory for testing. If you wear makeup, come to the appointment without any foundation.

Why is a skin examination important? 
Skin cancer has the highest cure rate in its earliest stages. Regular skin examinations, whether at-home or in your dermatologist’s office, help you and your doctor find the earliest signs of skin cancer to begin the treatment process. Additionally, a skin examination allows your doctor to help address your skin care routine and sun protection habits.

Detecting Skin Cancer in Rockville, MD
A cancerous mole will appear differently than a normal mole. The ABCDE method will help you determine if a mole is suspicious:

  • Asymmetrical: Cancerous moles are asymmetrical in shape.
  • Border: A cancerous mole’s border is not smooth and can be jagged or wavy.
  • Color: A normal mole is light pink to brown in color. A cancerous mole may have more than one color within its borders or be very dark.
  • Diameter: A normal-sized mole is usually less than 6mm, or about the size of a pencil eraser, in diameter.
  • Evolving: Cancerous moles change in appearance and can change shape or color. Normal moles remain the same.

For more information on skin cancer, its diagnosis, or its treatments, please contact Shady Grove Dermatology in Rockville, MD. Call (240) 246-7417 to schedule your appointment with your dermatologist today!

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