Ocean Otolaryngology Associates addresses the warning signs associated with the three most common types of skin cancer.
WALL TOWNSHIP/TOMS RIVER, NJ – With over 5 million cases diagnosed in the United States each year, skin cancer is America’s most common cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. “Despite that staggering statistic, skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers,” said Dr. Bruce W. Peters of Ocean ENT. “It’s important to underline the dangers of unprotected sun exposure and to check for warning signs and always check your skin from head to toe for anything new, changing or unusual.”
The three major types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and melanoma.
BCC is the most common form of skin cancer with approximately 3.6 million cases diagnosed annually in the United States, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. “BCCs manifest themselves as uncontrolled growths that can look like open sores, scars, shiny bumps or red patches,” said Dr. Peters. “If you follow a complete sun-protection strategy, you will vastly reduce your risk of developing this form of cancer.”
The good news is that BCCs rarely metastasize, according to Skin Cancer Foundation. “However, if not identified early and treated properly, BCCs can be locally destructive and cause significant scarring,” Dr. Peters added.
SCC is the second most common skin cancer as it affects an estimated 1.8 million people annually in the United States. These tumors arise from squamous cells, which are located on the upper levels of the epidermis and can appear as scaly red patches, warts or open sores that can crust or bleed.
SCCs are significantly more dangerous than BCCs because they can metastasize if not detected and treated in an early stage,” said Dr. Peters. Skin Cancer Foundation notes hat SCCs are mainly caused by cumulative ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure over the course of a lifetime.
The best-known type of skin cancer, and perhaps the most dangerous, is melanoma. “Arising from pigment-producing melanocytes, melanomas can become very hard to treat and even be fatal if allowed to progress,” according to Skin Cancer Foundation. “If the cancer is caught early, however, a patient has an estimated five-year survival rate of 99 percent. That’s why knowing how to recognize a potential melanoma is so important.”
Dr. Peters notes the best way to identify warning signs is to use the ABCDEs of melanoma.
A = asymmetry. Most melanomas are asymmetrical meaning if you draw a line through the middle of the lesion, the two halves do not match.
B = border. Melanoma borders tend to be irregular or jagged.
C = color. Multiple or uneven colors are a warning sign (i.e., varied shades of brown, black or tan).
D = diameter/darkness. Is the lesion larger than the size of a pea or a pencil eraser?
E = evolving. Melanomas can change in size, shape or color. They can also bleed, itch or crust over.
If you notice any changes in your skin such as a new growth or a sore that doesn’t heal, don’t hesitate to reach out to your physician or Ocean ENT. “We specialize in the diagnosis of skin lesions of the face, scalp and neck,” said Dr. Peters. “Our practice routinely performs skin cancer surgery.”
To schedule an appointment with Ocean ENT, call 732-281-0100. The Ocean ENT office is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm. For the most up-to-date information, please follow Ocean ENT on Facebook.
About the Skin Cancer Foundation
The Skin Care Foundation saves and improves lives. The foundation empowers people to take a proactive approach to daily sun protection and the early detection and treatment of skin cancer. To learn more, visit https://www.skincancer.org.
About Ocean ENT
Ocean ENT (Ocean Otolaryngology Associates, P.A.) is a respected provider of ear, nose and throat care serving Monmouth and Ocean counties. Ocean ENT’s board-certified physicians have extensive training and clinical experience and pursue ongoing education to stay abreast of the latest trends. A wide range of services, including treatment of sinus disease, thyroid disease, hoarseness, hearing loss, childhood ENT disorders and nasal breathing difficulty are provided at the practice’s Toms River and Manasquan offices. To learn more about Ocean ENT, visit https://oceanentnj.com or call 732-281-0100.