Understanding the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma skin cancer

Skin cancer is a growing concern for all Americans. What we know about sun exposure now can allow patients to be proactive about preventing skin cancer and reducing their overall risks. Knowing what to look for in terms of the early signs is also vital to ensuring an early diagnosis and the increased chance of survival. The most serious type of skin cancer, known as melanoma, should be spotted by evaluating moles and other skin growths regularly. In fact, patients should contact their Short Hills, NJ area dermatologist to book an annual skin cancer screening, and schedule an appointment when they notice the signs and symptoms. 

What is melanoma? 

Melanoma is the deadliest of all the skin cancers that could be detected on the human body. When patients have regular evaluations or contact their doctor when problems occur, they can receive a diagnosis and discuss treatment options based on their unique situation. The earlier the condition is caught and treated, the better the chance of a positive outcome. 

What are the signs of melanoma? 

  •         Growth of an existing mole
  •         Changes in the mole’s shape, color, or size
  •         New moles that develop on the skin

Some patients may be at an increased risk of developing melanoma, such as fair-skinned patients with previous sun exposure, those with a family history of melanoma, or those who have many moles on the body. Individuals with a weakened immune system will also want to be proactive about looking for changes in the skin that might indicate that cancer is present. 

How is melanoma treated? 

There are several methods available to treating melanoma, and the type of treatment may vary depending on the stage at which the condition has reached. Patients might treat melanoma with: 

  •         Manual excision
  •         Chemotherapy
  •         Radiation

The treatment best for one patient might not be optimum for another, so working with an experienced, skilled dermatologist to find the treatment right for you is key. 

Are you due for an annual skin cancer screening? 

At Dermatology Consultants of Short Hills, patients in the area of Short Hills, NJ who are in need of an annual skin cancer screening or have a mole of concern they would like examined, can contact our practice to book an appointment at 636 Morris Turnpike, Suite 2H. Call (973) 232-6245 to request a visit in our state-of-the-art Short Hills, NJ area practice.

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