You can get skin cancer from having too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Although your exposure to UV is most likely to be greatest in the summer, living and spending time outside in a sunny area can increase your risk for skin cancer.
You also can get skin cancer from the UV rays used for tanning beds and sunlamps.
What is melanoma?
Melanoma, a common and deadly skin cancer, can occur from too much intense short-term exposure to UV. Nonmelanoma skin cancers, including basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma can result from less intense, extended sun exposure.
If it is not treated, melanoma can spread to other parts of the body and even cause death. Other skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma can be cured or managed. But all skin cancers must be treated or they will worsen, sometimes quickly, and threaten your health.
You might be at risk for skin cancer, including melanoma, if you have:
- Skin that is fair, freckles, and burns easily
- Green or blue eyes
- Blond or red hair
- Spent time working or playing outdoors
- Had even 1 sunburn, especially as a child or adolescent
- A family history of skin cancer
The good news is that when skin cancers are found and treated in the early stages, they are highly curable. Manhattan Beach dermatologist Lawrence Moy, MD, is an expert in identifying and treating all stages of skin cancer.
Getting a Skin Checkup
Visiting Dr. Moy at least once a year for a thorough skin checkup can help protect you from skin cancer. During your visit, Dr. Moy will thoroughly examine your skin and ask about your medical history. If you need to have special tests such as a biopsy to identify or rule out skin cancer, Dr. Moy will explain what the test involves.
If you have other problems with your skin such as acne, infections, sores that do not heal, or even an infected finger or toe nail between your yearly visits, you should see Dr. Moy immediately for treatment. His expertise includes all aspects of skin care and dermatology.
What Skin Cancer Can Look Like
Skin cancer can appear in many different ways, including areas that:
- Change color
- Change shape
- Ooze clear or yellow fluid or blood, crust or clot and then ooze and bleed again
Only a dermatologist can tell whether a growth is benign or cancerous. For this reason and to find skin cancer early and protect your skin and overall health, be sure to see your Manhattan Beach dermatologist each year or sooner if you have a suspicious spot on your skin.
Treatment for Skin Cancer
If you have a suspicious growth on your skin, Dr. Moy will likely to remove part or all of it. He will send the tissue to a lab to be biopsied. In some cases, he might recommend additional treatment to ensure that all the cancer cells have been removed.
The skin cancer treatment you receive will depend on the type of skin cancer you have. If you have basal cell carcinoma, your surgery will depend on your age and health as well as the type, size, location, and depth of your tumor. If you have melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma, Dr. Moy will likely remove (excise) the cancerous tissue surgically.
Other techniques for treating skin cancer include curettage and electrosurgery, cryosurgery, photodynamic therapy, laser surgery, radiation, and topical medications. Whatever your needs, Dr. Moy is here to help restore your skin health and protect your overall health!
For more information about your risk for melanoma or other skin cancers,
schedule an appointment today! Call Dr. Moy at 310-546-7780.