Posts for tag: Melanoma
How your dermatologists in Casper, Wyoming can help if you have a melanoma
Skin cancer can be scary, but there are many types of skin cancer, some more aggressive than others. Melanoma is one of the more aggressive types of skin cancer, and it can be disfiguring or fatal. Early diagnosis and treatment of melanoma are critical to providing the best outcome.
The dermatologists at Central Wyoming Skin Clinic offer a wide range of skincare services, including diagnosis and treatment of melanoma. They have several convenient office locations across Wyoming in Casper, Douglas, Gillette, Rawlins, Laramie, Wheatland, Thermopolis, and Riverton, Wyoming.
Melanoma is caused by cancer developing in the melanocytes, the cells that produce skin color. Malignant or cancerous melanoma is frequently caused by excessive sun exposure. You may be at higher risk if you have pale skin.
You can do a lot to prevent melanoma by always applying sunscreen before you go outside. You should use sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15, and at least an SPF of 30 if you plan to be outside for a long period of time.
You should also regularly check any moles you have and look for:
- Irregular borders
- A diameter larger than 6 millimeters
- An asymmetrical shape
- A change in color, size, or height
- A mole that has recurred after a previous removal
- A mole that itches or is painful
Your dermatologist will recommend a biopsy of suspicious moles to diagnose precancerous or cancerous tissue, and what type of skin cancer you have.
If you have melanoma, aggressive treatment is often recommended, which can include:
- Surgical excision of the cancerous tissue
- Radiation treatment to kill the cancerous cells
- Chemotherapy to kill the cancerous cells
- Mohs micrographic surgery to remove the cancer layer-by-layer
- Medicated lotions or creams to help your body fight the skin cancer
Melanoma can be a scary diagnosis, and it’s comforting to know your dermatologist is available to help you heal and feel better. To find out more about skin cancers including melanoma, talk with the dermatologists of Central Wyoming Skin Clinic in Casper Wyoming, at (307) 234-0003. Call now!
Skin cancer is more common than any other type of cancer in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although changes in moles are an obvious sign of a potential problem, other possible skin cancer signs are more subtle. Regular skin cancer exams are often credited with detecting skin cancer in its earliest, most treatable stage. Dr. Scott Bennion and Dr. Matthew Green of Central Wyoming Skin Clinic offer skin cancer screenings in their Casper, Laramie, and Gillette, WY, offices.
Home skin cancer exams
Performing monthly self-exams can help you spot signs of potential skin cancers. If you notice any of these issues, schedule an appointment with your Casper, Laramie, or Gillette dermatologist for a skin cancer exam:
- Mole Changes: Look for moles that have changed color, ooze, itch or no longer have smooth, regular borders. New moles should be investigated, as should moles that are larger than a pencil eraser.
- Bumps and Pimples: Squamous or basal cell carcinomas can sometimes be confused with pimples or insect bites. Although pimples or bites usually go away within a few weeks, red bumps caused by skin cancer don't.
- Colored Spots and Sores: Skin color changes may be a sign of skin cancer. Your skin may turn black, pink, red, or brown as a result of a skin cancer. Open sores that never seem to heal should also be examined.
- Flaky Skin: Areas of flaky skin that never go away, no matter how much moisturizer you use, are also a cause for concern.
Professional skin exams
Yearly skin exams by a dermatologist are important, even if you perform self-exams. Your dermatologist has seen countless cases of skin cancer and can identify spots that you may have missed during your own examinations. Although skin cancer screenings are beneficial for everyone, they're particularly important if you've had one or more bad sunburns, work or play in the sun frequently, sunbathe or use tanning beds.
Should your dermatologist notice any suspicious spots, they will be biopsied to ensure that they aren't cancerous. If cancer is detected, your skin doctor can offer a variety of treatments to protect your health, including skin-sparing Mohs micrographic surgery.
Skin cancer exams offer a simple way to protect your health. Call Dr. Bennion and Dr. Green of Central Wyoming Skin Clinic at (307) 234-0003 to schedule an appointment in the Casper, Laramie, or Gillette, WY, offices.
Learn the early warning signs of this life-threatening skin cancer.
It is estimated that over 87,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in 2017 alone, and 9,730 people will die from this serious form of skin cancer. Anyone can develop melanoma and unfortunately, many people don’t keep their eyes out for the warning signs. From the office of our Laramie, Gillette, and Casper, WY, dermatologists, Dr. Scott Bennion and Dr. Matthew Green, know how to spot the most common symptoms of melanoma.
Symptoms of Melanoma
Everyone should perform self-exams on their skin at least once a month. These exams should be meticulous and comprehensive. You should check everything from the scalp to in-between your toes. When you are performing this exam it’s helpful to remember your ABCDEs.
Asymmetry: Both sides of the mole should be the same size and shape. If the halves are different then this could be a warning sign of melanoma.
Border: Healthy moles will have a clear, defined border. If the border is undefined or blurred this is a warning sign.
Color: A mole should only be a single color. If you notice different colors (e.g. black, tan, red, white, blue) in one mole then this should be an indicator that it’s time to have the mole examined.
Diameter: Benign moles tend to be small. Questionable moles will be larger in size (often the size of a pencil eraser or larger).
Evolving: Moles shouldn’t change at all over time; they should remain the same. If you notice any changes to a mole such as bleeding or crusting you’ll want to visit our Laramie, Gillette and Casper skin doctors for an evaluation.
Annual Skin Cancer Screenings
Even if you are dedicated to putting on sunscreen everyday (and we certainly commend you for it!) you should still make some time in your schedule to visit our skin doctors for a routine screening. These screenings are completely painless and it’s one of the best ways to detect problems early when melanoma is easier to treat.
Central Wyoming Skin Clinic is happy to provide skin cancer screenings to patients all over the Casper, Laramie and Gillette, WY, areas. Call our office today to schedule an appointment with us and do your part to protect your skin from this pervasive condition.