According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancers have been diagnosed more than all other forms of cancer combined in the last 30 years. As it is so common, many cases go undiagnosed until serious complications are occurring. Understanding the importance of early detection is crucial.
A small cancerous lesion can usually be removed so well that the scar is tiny or nonexistent. Cancers that are permitted to grow can spread to the point that you may need skin grafts to cover the exposed area post-excision. Smaller excision sites are also less painful and less likely to become infected than their larger counterparts. For this reason, finding the cancer in its smallest form is imperative.
Catching Cancer before It Metastasizes
Melanoma, which is one of the more aggressive skin cancers, can metastasize into your organs. This means that the cancer travels from your skin and into your tissues, where it can then continue to grow. Of course, this greatly reduces your chances of survival and complicates treatment by quite a lot.
While a simple skin lesion may be eradicated with an outpatient procedure, cancer that has spread can mean lengthy hospital stays, complex surgeries or treatments such as chemotherapy. Catching skin cancer in its earliest stages makes treatment and recovery easier, safer, and less expensive than treating it once it has spread.
Finding skin cancer in its earliest stages is crucial, for many reasons. Not only are small cancers easier and less expensive to treat, but the prognosis is very good for the future. Advanced cancers, however, can be life threatening, painful, disfiguring, and expensive. For all of these reasons, please take time to inspect every inch of your skin for changes once a month. Bring any suspicious bruises, freckles or growths to your our attention at once. Even if a lesion is non-cancerous, having it biopsied and removed will protect your health going forward.
At Pinnacle Dermatology, your skin is our top priority. We offer annual skin exams in an effort to catch any issues at their earliest stages. These can include spots, freckles, or moles that are new or changing. Doing at-home skin checks in between your annual dermatology appointment is also a great way to keep an eye on any skin issues. To keep your skin safe, especially during the summer months, it’s important to wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher whenever you are in the sun. Contact Pinnacle Dermatology today to schedule your consultation.