Diagnosing Skin Cancer

Diagnosing Skin Cancer

Disease, Illness > Skin cancer

There are several different types of cancer, all of which are very dangerous and must be detected early in order to have the best possible prognosis. Skin cancer, which is an increasingly common form, is often associated with over exposure to sun or other ultraviolet radiation, including tanning beds. Because individuals with fair skin are more susceptible to a sunburn, they are also more susceptible to skin cancer. In order to protect themselves from the sun’s strength, individuals should wear sunscreen with a high SPF, hats and long sleeve shirts. In addition, taking special care to not fall asleep in the sun or spend hours every day in it’s presence may help to lessen it’s harmful effects and possibly may even prevent skin cancer.

Symptoms of skin cancer are various, but the most common is a lesion that will not heal. This may also include discoloration and overall changes in the appearance of moles. The majority of skin cancer patients can be treated with a surgical procedure that involves removing the affected layers of the skin. If skin cancer is left untreated, however, it may begin to involve the deeper layers of the skin and possibly even the lymphatic system. In addition, it may spread to other parts of the body and become resistant to treatment if not detected early.

Of all the various forms of cancer, Skin cancer has one of the highest survival rates because, unlike the others, skin cancer is usually visible and leads to earlier detection. If a skin lesion does not heal within 7 to 10 days, or if a mole begins to change in shape, color or otherwise vary in appearance, a physician should be consulted in order to determine whether or not the lesion is cancerous.

During testing, a piece of the skin will be removed by the physician and sent to a medical laboratory for further testing. If the test results are positive for the presence of cancer, the physician will invite the patient to return to his/her office for a conversation regarding possible treatment options.

The information in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered as, or used in place of, medical advice or professional recommendations for the cause, diagnosis or treatment of skin cancer. If necessary, individuals should consult a medical doctor or dermatologist for information regarding the likelihood of skin cancer, a proper diagnosis and recommended form of treatment.