Many people have questions about skin cancer and want answers from an expert. Read below to find board-certified dermatologist Dr. Melda Isaac’s answers to the most frequently asked questions about skin cancer treatment and prevention.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the main types of skin cancer?
A: The three main types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. While it’s not fatal, if left it can cause serious damage to the body. Squamous cell carcinoma can be very dangerous and potentially fatal if left untreated. There are different subtypes of each of these cancers so some can be more or less aggressive.
Q: What is Melanoma?
A: Melanoma is the least common of the three, but most life-threatening form of skin cancer. Melanoma is derived from the pigment-producing cell in our body called the melanocyte. Melanoma can spread quickly throughout the body if not caught and treated in its early stages.
Q: Is skin cancer easily treatable?
A: The good news is that many types of skin cancers are easily treatable if detected early enough. Problems occur when people wait to get checked out by a doctor and cancer spreads to other parts of the body.
Q: How do I know if I have skin cancer?
A: Dr. Melda Isaac encourages everyone to perform regular monthly self-exams to check for suspicious-looking moles or skin irregularities on the body that could be skin cancer. When performing a self-exam, people should look for sun spots, moles, or patches of skin that look unusual or have changed in shape, size, or color. Anything out of the ordinary should be reported to your dermatologist immediately.
Q: Can tanning beds increase the risk of skin cancer?
A: Yes, studies have shown that tanning bed use is linked to a higher risk of developing skin cancer. People should avoid using tanning beds in order to decrease the likelihood of skin cancer.
Q: What can I do to prevent skin cancer?
A: Thankfully, skin cancer is easily preventable. People should protect their skin from the damaging rays of the sun by regularly applying sunscreen and wearing protective clothing. Avoid being in the sun for extended periods of time and seek shade whenever possible. Schedule yearly skin cancer screenings with Dr. Melda Isaac at MI Skin Dermatology Center to check for signs of skin cancer.