How does skin cancer develop?
Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer, there are more than 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer in the U.S. each year. Skin cancer that most frequently develops from skin exposed to extensive sunlight is the abnormal growth of skin cells. Early detection of suspicious changes in skin is essential for the successful skin cancer treatment. Limiting your exposure to ultraviolet radiation is key to avoiding a risk of skin cancer. Scheduling a consultation with our professional team at Kovak Laser and Dermatology institute is a good idea if you have noticed a dramatic change in your skin’s tone or if you have a questionable spot.
Skin cancer can progress from heavily sun-exposed skin like the face, lips, ears, neck, chest and arms. It may also form in other places like palms, feet and genitals that don’t necessarily endure extensive sun light.
Here are some tips to enjoy the sun in a safe way:
- Wear sunscreen (30 SPF or higher)
- Cover up while the sun is at its most powerful throughout the day 10am-4pm
- Sunglasses with 100% UV protection
- Avoiding artificial tanning beds and sun lamps
At Kovak Laser and Dermatology Institute the main goal of treatment is to remove or destroy the cancerous cells with as small a scar as possible.
What is Squamous Cell Carcinoma?
Squamous cell carcinoma typically appears as a flesh-colored or reddish bump or patch most often located on the face, scalp, upper extremities, or chest. Although these skin cancers have a tendency to affect sun-exposed areas, they can occur practically anywhere on the skin surface. Squamous cell carcinomas can metastasize, or spread to other bodily sites, but this occurs in less than 3% of patients. However, it is important to note that squamous cell carcinomas that do metastasize tend to have one or more of the following features:
- The affected area on the skin grows
- Location on the lower lip or ear, or within a prior burn injury or long-standing scar
- More aggressive behavior biologically, (growth reappears even after removal)
- Presence in a patient with a weakened immune system (i.e., organ transplant recipient, leukemia patient)
The choice of treatment with our team at Kovak Laser and Dermatology Institute depends upon many factors, including its location on the skin surface, the subtype and aggressiveness of the cancer, aesthetic implications of treatment, and even the health status of the patient. In general, the treatment options are the same as for basal cell carcinoma.
What is Basal Carcinoma?
Basal Cell Carcinoma is a very common type of skin cancer that makes up 8 out of 10 cases of skin cancer worldwide. Basal cell carcinoma grows in the basal cell which produces new skin cells as old ones die off. It rarely metastasizes or spreads and can be successfully treated with either creams or surgery at Kovak Laser Institute.
The skin is made up of three layers. Epidermis, where most skin cancers develop, the dermis, containing sweat and oil glands and finally the subcutaneous layer made up of fat and connective tissues. Basal cell carcinoma, although considered relatively safe, can cause significant damage to surrounding tissue. Long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight is thought to cause basal cell carcinomas. Basic prevention including sunscreen, covering up from sunlight and avoiding UV rays are all sensible precautions.
What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is the most serious and dangerous forms of skin cancer. It develops in melanocytes, cells that produce pigment for your skin called melanin. Like squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, the root cause of melanoma is unknown but it is linked to UV radiation. Unlike those conditions, Melanoma can form on intestines and internal organs. If discovered and treated early enough in its growth, melanoma can be cured with a nearly 100% success rate.
What are the symptoms of Melanoma?
In some cases, melanoma may not exhibit any symptoms at all. But in the case where a mark on your skin exhibits:
- Painfulness, ache
- Bruise like appearance
If you have questions or want to schedule a consultation please don’t hesitate to call us at Kovak Dermatology & Laser Institute in the Chicago and Rockford area. (630) 758-0470 or click here to schedule online!