Understanding melanoma

Skin cancer is becoming one of the fastest growing cancers in our world today—even though it is one of the most preventable. The doctors at Dermatology Consultants of Short Hills are pleased to provide routine screenings for patients at the office, which are recommended annually. However, we often see patients who have a new growth or change to their skin that warrants concern and requires an evaluation and biopsy to look for signs of skin cancer. There are various types of skin cancer that might be diagnosed, btu the most deadly is that of melanoma.

What is melanoma?

Though melanoma makes up only about 1% of skin cancer diagnoses according to the American Cancer Society, it accounts for most of the deaths caused by skin cancer. Melanoma is also one of the most common cancers in younger adults, even those under the age of 30, especially women. This can be attributed to growing popularity in tanning and tanning booths. The use of a tanning booth can significantly increase an individual’s risk of developing cancer, which is why it is recommended to avoid them at all costs. There are many skincare products out today that can be used to tint or darken the skin without having to expose it to UVA and UVB sunlight or artificial light.

How is melanoma diagnosed?

Melanoma is often seen in changes that have occurred to preexisting moles, or “nevi,” on the skin. Many individuals have moles present, but this doesn’t mean they have cancer. However, if it is noted that a preexisting mole is changing in shape, color, size, or diameter, it is reason for concern. Patients are advised to schedule a skin cancer screening. During this appointment, a doctor will check the patient from head to toe for any signs of cancer, and will take a biopsy if needed. This is used to find out if skin cells are cancerous or benign (non-cancerous).

Learn more about melanoma

If you are concerned that you may have skin cancer, or just want to educate yourself further on the signs to look for, we welcome you to book an appointment at Dermatology Consultants of Short Hills. Our Short Hills, NJ area practice is located at 636 Morris Turnpike, Suite #2H and accepts new patients who call the office for an appointment at (973) 232-6245.

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