205.853.3960

Board-Certified Dermatologists in Birmingham, AL: Medical, Cosmetic & Surgical Dermatology Center. Pediatric Specialists | 5 Min from I459

Skin cancer is something we hear a lot about. However, how much do we actually know about it? Here is a quick summary of what you need to know about skin cancer and how a dermatologist checks for it.

 

Skin cancer is abnormal cell growth, usually found on skin that gets sunlight exposure. However, it is possible to get skin cancer on areas of the skin that do not get sunlight exposure. The three most  common types, which are melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and basal cell carcinoma.

Click here to learn more about Mohs surgery for skin cancer.

Causes of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer symptoms can vary depending on what kind of skin cancer it is. For instance, a mole that changes in size, shape, or color could be a melanoma or  a red, firm nodule could be a squamous or basal cell carcinoma.

Symptoms of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer symptoms can vary depending on what kind of skin cancer it is. For instance, a mole that changes in size, shape, or color could be a melanoma or  a red, firm nodule could be a squamous or basal cell carcinoma.

How Do You Check If You Have Skin Cancer?

A dermatologist may perform a full-body exam when checking for skin cancer. You want to tell your provider if you have moles that bleed, itch, have changed over time, or are new. A dermatologist will look over your entire body and examine each mole. When they look at every mole, they will consider  the diameter, color, border, and symmetry of the lesions. Your doctor may also look for actinic keratoses that occur from sun damage and can lead to cancer if untreated.

However, a visual exam is only the first part. If your doctor is concerned about a mole, they will possibly perform a biopsy. Then, your dermatologist will usually send the mole sample to a lab to check it for cancer cells. If the biopsy says that there are cancer cells, your doctor may recommend additional treatment.

How often should you get tested?

Not every medical professional may agree on how often you should get screened for skin cancer. Some providers believe that you should get checked yearly, especially if you have a higher risk for skin cancer because of the use of tanning beds, red/blonde hair, family medical history, etc. Some providers may state that you should only get checked if you have unusual moles.

If you notice a difference in your skin, it would be best to get checked right away. That way, you will learn how to treat any problem immediately, and if you live in or near the greater Birmingham, Alabama area, feel free to reach out to the team at Associated Dermatologists to book an appointment for skin cancer screening. Our office is conveniently located in Trussville just minutes from I-459 as you’ll see on the map below:

 

View Associated Dermatologists on Google Maps

 

The Team at Associated Dermatologists can be reached by phone

(205) 853-3960

Monday – Thursday from 8 AM to 4 PM.

We accept most insurance providers to include BlueCross, Viva Health, Medicare, UnitedHealthcare and TriCare. Reach out today to check availability for new patient appointments.

Advanced Dermatologic Surgery Specialists | Top Medical Associates | Dermatologists Clinics in Trussville, Birmingham, Alabama