Did you know one in five American adults gets skin cancer during their lifetime and that two Americans die from skin cancer each and every hour? Fortunately, with early detection and today’s medical advances, more than 99% of people diagnosed with this disease survive.
At Manhattan Dermatology in New York City, our board-certified dermatologists offer the most advanced treatments for managing skin cancer. We also know the best treatment is early detection with a simple skin cancer screening.
Here’s a look at four reasons to schedule your skin cancer screening this year and every year.
More than a million Americans get skin cancer
Over a million Americans are diagnosed with nonmelanoma skin cancers every year. And that’s not all — hundreds of thousands more get diagnosed with life-threatening melanoma.
Melanoma tends to grow and spread more than the other types of skin cancer, which increases your risk of dying from the disease. Regular skin exams with an experienced dermatologist is the best way to detect skin cancer in the earliest stages.
Most people have moles and freckles that could be cancerous
New freckles and moles could be skin cancer, or they could be a normal part of your skin’s development. Since different types of skin cancer exist, each with their own signs and symptoms, it’s important to see a skin expert for an evaluation.
At Manhattan Dermatology, we know no one else looks at your skin as often as you do. So here are some general signs and symptoms to watch out for when it comes to moles and skin growths:
- A flat, tan or brown lesion that looks like a scar
- A bump with a waxy or pearly appearance
- A large, brownish spot with darker flecks
- A mole that bleeds or changes in color, size, or texture
- A flat, scaly lesion
- Dark, painful lesions
- A hard, red bump
But even if you’re looking for these signs, a simple skin screening is still your best bet for catching skin cancer early.
With years of experience spotting troublesome skin conditions, we evaluate your entire body for signs of skin cancer and biopsy questionable areas so you get early treatment.
Early skin cancer treatment can save your life
Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of your skin cells. There are three main types of skin cancer: squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Of these, melanoma is the most deadly.
But no matter which type of skin cancer you have, early treatment is key to a good prognosis. This is especially true with melanoma. If we determine you have skin cancer, we can remove the growth.
We may also recommend a special type of skin cancer surgery, called Mohs surgery. During this in-office procedure, we excise the cancerous areas precisely, layer by layer.
We examine each layer in our on-site laboratory and continue to remove layers until no cancer remains. You finish your treatment cancer-free with less scarring than other types of surgery.
The best part is that with early treatment, Mohs surgery has very high cure rates for certain skin cancers. In fact, Mohs surgery provides a 99% cure rate for new skin cancers and 94% for recurring skin cancers.
No one is immune from skin cancer
Everyone — no matter your skin color or tone — can get skin cancer. In fact, people of color often don’t get diagnosed until the later stages of skin cancer, when it’s more difficult to treat. Annual skin cancer screenings can help prevent this.
Some people have risk factors that increase their chances of developing skin cancer. If you’re at elevated risk, you might need skin cancer screenings more frequently. These risk factors include having:
- Blonde or red hair
- Blue or green eyes
- Skin that freckles or sunburns easily
- Family history of melanoma
- History of using tanning beds/machines
- History of an organ transplant
- History of sunburns, especially with blisters
- More than 50 moles
- A job or hobby that means you spend more time in the sun
At Manhattan Dermatology, we evaluate your skin and risk factors and create a personalized skin cancer screening cadence.
Learn more about skin cancer screenings by scheduling an appointment online or by calling our office in the Murray Hill or Midtown East section of Manhattan in New York City.