Steps to Take for Early Skin Cancer Treatment and Prevention
Skin cancer is one of a few cancer types that you can see develop. Growths and moles form on the skin that can easily be studied at home and by our dermatologists at Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic and Skin Cancer Treatment Center in La Mesa. While 99 percent of skin cancer cases are curable, it depends on early diagnosis and treatment. Unchecked cancerous lesions may lead to disfigurement and become deadly as the skin cancer spreads to other areas of the body.
Everyday Habits That May Prevent Skin Cancer
The single best thing you can do to mitigate your risk of skin cancer is to protect your skin from UV radiation from the sun. That goes beyond wearing sunscreen at the beach. UV exposure is just as dangerous when filtered through clouds on an overcast day or bouncing off sand, water, glass or snow. Long-term outdoor exposure adds up, but these daily tips will help lower your risk of skin cancer:
- Stay in the shade when possible, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the UV rays are strongest.
- Avoid tanning indoors or outdoors, and don’t get sunburned.
- Cover your skin with clothing and a wide-brimmed hat, and shield your eyes with sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays.
- Apply your sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours for long days in the sun.
Once a month, examine your skin from your scalp and ears to the bottom of your feet to identify new moles, growths or lesions. You can pinpoint abnormal spots using the ABCDEs of skin cancer:
A qualified dermatologist should examine any spots on your skin that are odd in shape, border or color, as well as those that have evolved in shape, texture or shade.
Early Skin Cancer Detection is Vital for Effective Treatment
You should have a thorough skin examination by one of our dermatologists once a year to identify skin changes that may indicate cancer. These exams are the best way to identify and treat cancerous spots before they grow and become dangerous for your health and appearance.
Melanoma can be cured through early treatment, including freezing the growth with liquid nitrogen, excisional surgery to remove the growth and surrounding skin or Mohs surgery that eliminates the growth layer by layer and examines each tissue sample. However, when melanoma spreads to other body areas, you may require more invasive treatments such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy and photodynamic therapy (PDT) to stop its spreading. Your risk of disfigurement and death increases the longer you wait to have a skin exam and treat the cancerous growth.
Schedule Your Skin Cancer Screening in La Mesa
If you have a new or changing mole or it’s time for your annual exam, schedule a skin cancer screening at Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic and Skin Cancer Treatment Center in La Mesa today by calling or emailing our office.
Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic and Skin Cancer Treatment Center Staff
Grossmont Dermatology is committed to providing patients with excellent quality skin treatments to help them preserve their youth. They use the latest technologies and treatment modalities to provide patients with the most effective services suiting their individual needs.
The team of professionals at the practice comprise:
- Paul B. Dean, MD, MPH, FAAD – Specializes in general dermatology, mole and lesion removal, photodynamic therapy (PDT), and skin cancer treatments.
- Maki Christine Goskowicz, MD, FAAD – Expertise includes general, cosmetic and laser dermatology, and skin cancer surgery and Botox treatments.
- Christopher Crosby, MD, PhD, FAAD - Specialist in Mohs surgery and reconstructive dermatologic surgery for skin cancers.
- Shinko Lin, MD – Specializes in general, cosmetic and laser dermatology, skin cancer treatments, and PDT.
- Helene Jolly, PA-C, MPAP – Performs cosmetic dermatology, acne and skin rash treatments, and mole removal among other tasks.
- Kira A. Tellache, PA-C – Performs general dermatology including acne and skin rashes as well as cosmetic dermatology and mole removal.