Skin is human body’s largest and most visible organ. Partially because of that, skin cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in the United States. It is also highly preventable, with information regarding sun protection more accessible and widespread now than ever before. Western Dermatology Consultants specializes in medical dermatology services in Albuquerque, addressing conditions like skin cancer, in addition to cosmetic dermatology.
Skin cancer is associated with the out-of-control, abnormal growth of cells in the epidermis of the skin, caused by problems with DNA. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, can spread beyond its place in the skin, moving to the internal organs with fatal repercussions.
To help lower your risk of a bad outcome related to skin cancer, it is important to become familiar with your skin and routinely examine the entire surface for anything that seems out of the ordinary.
One of the best guidelines for spotting signs and symptoms of skin cancer is the ABCDE rule. Watch for moles with these factors in mind:
- Asymmetry: Irregular shapes
- Border: Unclear margins
- Color: Unusual colors (such as red, white, pink, or blue)
- Diameter: Larger than a pencil eraser
- Evolving: Recent changes
You can contact us if anything concerning crops up. Our board-certified dermatologists can perform a skin cancer screening and take a biopsy if necessary.
In cases where basal or squamous cell carcinomas are identified, one of the most effective, innovative ways of treating the condition is Mohs surgery—an option with one of the highest cure rates of all methods.
A surgeon specifically trained in this area will gradually, systematically remove tissue layer by layer, examining each sample under a microscope. This is continued until the tumor is gone and no additional cancerous cells are found. Mohs surgery allows you to preserve a large amount of the surrounding, healthy tissue, making it a great choice for features like the ears, nose, and area around the eyes. At the end of the session, the treatment site is cosmetically repaired.
While early detection is important, prevention is ideal. Taking sun protection seriously is the best way to safeguard your skin in the long term, while also minimizing the development of wrinkles. We advise seeking shelter indoors and avoiding going out in the sun during its peak hours. Additionally, you should apply sufficient amounts of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher before going out each day. Cover your skin with sun-protective clothing and wear darkly tinted sunglasses.
Albuquerque’s Western Dermatology Consultants can help you identify and plan a treatment for skin cancer. Get in touch today by calling 505-855-5503 or filling out a contact form.