Skin Cancer and Melanoma Facts : Memphis Dermatologist
George Woodbury MD 5/8/2023
We know how to diagnose Skin Cancer and Melanoma early: these skin growths are visible to inspection so if brought to a Memphis Dermatologist early, we can then take a biopsy or completely remove suspicious lesions to be checked by the lab. We also generally know how to prevent Skin Cancer and Melanoma – careful avoidance of UV rays from the sun and from tanning salons with avoidance of mid-day sun and regular use of Broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or higher.
So why will over 15,000 Americans die of Skin Cancer and Melanoma this year? My through – being a Board-certified Memphis Dermatologist for over 30 years, with Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates, 8143 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN 38018, 1-901-753-0168, www.Rheumderm.com/dermatology) – is that people don’t always remember well-known facts about Skin Cancer and Melanoma.
So let’s take a look at the facts of Skin Cancer and Melanoma:
Skin Cancer can occur on any part of the body, though the most common location for the three most common types (Basal Cell Skin Cancer, Squamous Cell Skin Cancer, Melanoma) is sun-exposed areas of the body: face, neck, shoulders, arms, chest and back.
Skin Cancer occurs in all skin types, from people with the palest skin who tend to freckle easily and burn readily in the sun, to people with a more swarthy, brunette or brown-colored skin type. In fact, it’s possible that people who tan more readily are at higher risk of Skin Cancer and Melanoma because they may spend more time in the sun without adequate amounts of Broad-spectrum sunscreen. Really, everyone is at risk, even darkly-pigmented African-Americans.
The three most common types of skin cancer are Basal Cell Skin Cancer, Squamous Cell Skin Cancer, and Melanoma. All three are easier to treat if caught by a Skin Cancer Screening in an earlier stage. But you have to look closely at your skin – or that of your family members – to catch these lesions early.
So what do we Dermatologists look for?
We look for we call the A, B, C, D, E warning signs:
A stands for Asymmetry: one half of the lesion does not match the other half.
B stands for Border: a jagged border, perhaps like the coast of Maine, rather than of Florida.
C stands for Color change: different hues of brown or black within the lesion, or one mole that’s a darker color than the person’s other moles.
D stands for an increasing Diameter of the lesion
E stands for Evolving: if the lesion is changing, it’s best to bring it to the attention of a Dermatologist.
We know what action Dermatologic Surgeons take for suspicious moles or growths: if caught early, generally a simple removal, or “excision” of the lesion under local anesthetic is curative. If the lesion turns out to be a precancerous lesion – such as a high-risk Atypical Mole – or a full-fledged Skin Cancer - we often try to ensure that the lesion is completely out – by doing what’s called a “reexcision.”
My own Memphis Dermatology practice for over thirty years is with Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates, in Cordova, TN (1-901-753-0168; wwwRheumderm.com). Or you can find a Dermatologist close to you by going to the American Academy of Dermatology web site, AAD.org, then simply plugging your zip code into the “Find a Dermatologist” tab.
For more helpful tips and photos of melanoma, go to the Skin Cancer Foundation website:clues .org.
For more background on Melanoma, check out a short movie on Youtube sponsored by my own Memphis Dermatology practice: “Understanding the Melanoma Crisis: Scarlet’s Story.”
So see spot. See spot change. See a Dermatologist!
George Woodbury Jr. M.D.
Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates PC
8143 Walnut Grove Road
Cordova TN 38018
Dermatologist George Woodbury MD, Cordova, TN (www.Rheumderm.com) shares Skin Cancer and Melanoma facts, early, when it can be cured, through the A, B, C, D, E warning sign. www.Rheumderm.com. 8143 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova TN 38018 1-901-753-0168 05/07/2023