You’ll hear Dr. Barnett say, “SPF is your BFF” for a reason: skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in the United States. In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer within their lifetime.
Although May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of skin cancer year-round, because if detected early, skin cancer is one of the easiest forms of cancer to treat.
Types of Skin Cancer
- Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC): BCC is the most common type of skin cancer and frequently develops in people with fair skin -although it can also develop in people with darker skin. These growths can form anywhere on the body but are most common on the head, neck, and arms. If not treated, BCC can grow into the surrounding skin, tissues, and structures, compromising your health.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): SCC is the second most common type of skin cancer, and it often feels like a tender bump. These bumps often form on areas that are commonly exposed to sunlight. Fair skin is more likely to develop SCC than darker skin, and it can spread to other areas of the body.
- Melanoma: Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer. It usually looks like a mole but may have an irregular shape or color and can become symptomatic. It can be detected with regular skin exams by your dermatologist.
General Signs and Symptoms
The most common signs and symptoms of skin cancer include changes in the size, shape, or color of a mole or other skin lesion, such as a lump or patch of skin that feels rough, scaly, or itchy. Additionally, skin cancer may cause skin ulcers that do not heal, or new growths that appear on the skin and do not go away. In some cases, skin cancer may cause pain or bleeding in the affected area. If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, it is important to see a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
If you’re concerned about your existing or potential sun damage or skin cancer, please don’t wait to make an appointment at our practice! Make an appointment at the Atlanta Skin Wellness Center by calling (404) 446-4840.