The most common type of cancer in the United States, skin cancer, is also one of the most treatable if caught early.
As mid summer approaches, it isn’t only beach goers who are in danger of exposing themselves to harmful UV rays- golfers, runners, and anyone involved in outside activities are at risk. One in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of their lifetime, according to skincancer.org
The ABCD’s of detection are vital to self-examination and should be done as a regular routine. The American Melanoma Foundation defines the ABCD’s as asymmetry, border irregularity, color variation and diameter. Watching out for these can alert you as to what changes or developments should prompt an examination by your doctor.
Asymmetry: One half is different than the other half.
Border irregularity: The edges are notched, uneven, or blurred.
Color variation: The color is uneven. Shades of brown, tan, and black are present.
Diameter: Diameter is greater than 6 millimeters.
Other Warning Signs:
- The appearance of a new bump or nodule
- Color spreads into surrounding skin
- redness or swelling beyond the mole
- scaly appearance
At the Parker Center in Paramus, NJ, patients are given a careful history and physical examination if skin lesions are detected. “Early detection of skin cancers such as basal cell, squamous cell and malignant melanomas allows for curative surgical removal”, says Dr. Paul M. Parker. “Skin cancer is not very responsive to chemotherapy or radiation therapy, so surgery is the most effective treatment. The earlier it’s performed, the higher likelihood to obtain long term cure and prevent re-currence of the cancer. The Parker Center offers cutting edge procedures for all types of lesions including benign, precancerous and malignant.