Lip/Skin Cancer

There are three major types of skin cancer, all related to ultraviolet radiation due to sun tanning or the use of tanning beds. Regardless of the multiple claims, there are NO tanning beds available that don't result in skin damage. All races can develop skin cancer, which is easily treated when early.

Basal Cell Carcinoma is the most common and slowest growing of the skin cancers.  They may vary in appearance and look nodular, scaly, darkly pigmented or a scar-like. Keep in mind that a scratch should heal within approximately two weeks.  If it doesn’t, you should have it looked at by a physician.  Treatment usually consists of removal.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma is more aggressive and can move to other areas of your body if left for an extended period of time.  These may also vary in appearance and behavior. It’s commonly found on lips, ears, upper extremities and the trunk.

 Melanoma is the most aggressive of the skin cancers and must be removed by a physician as this can spread  to other parts of your body.   Watch for irregular borders or lesions with varied colors. Melanoma need not always be considered deadly.  The prognosis of the patient varies with the extent of the lesion.  Further excision may be required with additional therapy.  If you have a personal or family history of melanoma, you may be a higher risk for this disease.  All skin cancers are due to a change in the cells after prolonged exposure to the sun.  It may be a good idea to take a picture of your skin each year and compare the new pictures to past pictures.  Don’t forget your back   Remember, if you have a lesion that is changing in color, shape,or size, is bleeding or itching, you need to have this checked by a physician.