What are signs of melanoma?

Skin cancer is a serious issue that should not be taken lightly. It is a growing concern for patients of all ages, as it is not prejudice regarding ethnicity, gender, or age. Knowing how to protect the skin from sun damage and also spot signs of melanoma can help in reducing the risk of allowing skin cancer to reach more dangerous stages. Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer and needs to be caught early for successful intervention. At Dermatology Consultants of Short Hills in Short Hills, NJ, our professionals strongly encourage that patients have annual skin cancer screenings and also call their doctor when concerns arise between them.

What is melanoma?

The most serious and deadly type of skin cancer is melanoma. Melanoma can spread, and often starts in preexisting moles on the skin. Having moles doesn’t mean that an individual has cancer. However, with monitoring of these moles, changes that develop may indicate that skin cancer is present. Evaluating moles regularly, including during annual skin cancer screenings, allows for early detection and treatment.

What should I look for in cancerous lesions?

When moles change, it may be indicative of cancer. Many dermatologists will educate patients on the ABCDE’s of skin cancer. This acronym stands for asymmetry, border, color, diameter, and evolving. If any of these changes occur to a mole, it may require the dermatologist to take a sample to send to a laboratory for testing. Biopsies are commonly performed to look for cancerous cells on or in the body, and are typical ways of determining if any type of cancer of the body is present. When a mole has changed and a sample is removed and tested, it can help with getting a proper diagnosis. If patients obtain a positive test, they work with their dermatologist to discuss next steps for treatment.

In need of a skin cancer screening or evaluation?

The team at Dermatology Consultants of Short Hills are here to help. Call the office at (973) 232-6245 to request an appointment at 636 Morris Turnpike, Suite 2H. We encourage patients to book annual skin cancer screenings with a dermatologist, and to call the office when new lesions or growths occur.

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