Your skin is responsible for many beneficial things, such as covering your internal organs, protecting us from injury and germs, helping control body temperature, protecting from dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays, and helping your body make vitamin D, which comes from exposure to the sun.
All that talk about the wonderful sun, but cancer is that word no one wants to hear. The diagnosis and statistics become can be a nightmare, but it is an unfortunate reality. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, killing about 10,000 people in the United States annually. In other words, melanoma accounts for only one percent of skin cancer cases, but causes a large majority of skin cancer deaths, and death rates continue to rise each year.
Some people might not even think they are at risk, citing their ability to tan or not burn, or simply not having fair skin. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, however, and ignorance is not always bliss. Getting checked for cancer early is important, as early diagnosis can save your life in more ways than one.
What is Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer is caused when there is an abnormal growth of skin cells, due to sunlight (UV radiation), and other causes such as a compromised immune system. The three most common types of skin cancer are:
1. Melanoma: This type of cancer is the deadliest, and can appear anywhere on the body. Appears as a large brown spot with darker speckles; a mole that bleeds or changes size/color/texture needs to be looked at immediately.
2. Basal Cell Carcinoma: Waxy bumps on the skin or scar looking cuts, which are often the areas that are mostly exposed to the sun. Basal cell carcinoma can look brown or skin colored.
3. Squamous Cell Carcinoma: The second-most common type of skin cancer, with more than 1 million cases diagnosed per year in the US alone. This type of skin cancer usually appears on sun-exposed areas of skin, and can be quite deadly.
What is reconstructive surgery after skin cancer?
Reconstructive surgery is a common treatment for skin cancer, and the reminder scars that are left behind after the type of surgery you need will be determined by your surgeon based on the size, location, depth, and skin type around the affected area. At Atlantic Center Surgery, the plastic surgeons can remove skin cancer and reconstruct the skin to close the defect created from your skin cancer surgery.
Whatever you do, don’t wait! To find out if you are at risk for skin cancer, consult with your physician immediately. call Atlantic Center Surgery at (954) 983-1899 to request a consultation with Dr. Stelnicki, or request an appointment online.