Central Park South Dermatology
Medical Dermatologists & Cosmetic Dermatologists located in Midtown, New York, NY
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in America. At Central Park South Dermatology in midtown Manhattan, New York, Robin Blum, MD, FAAD, offers thorough skin cancer screenings to detect skin cancer in the earliest stages, when treatment is most effective. If you’re overdue for a skin cancer screening, book your visit today, online or over the phone.
Skin Cancer Screening Q & A
Why are skin cancer screenings important?
Like all cancers, skin cancer is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. There are several types of skin cancer, each with different symptoms and treatment paths.
Basal cell cancers
These are the most common types of skin cancer. They develop in the deepest layer of your epidermis and often look like red or pink patches, open sores, scars, or small bumps. Basal cell cancer almost never spreads.
Squamous cell cancers
These common cancers develop in your epidermis, the outermost layer of your skin. They often look like scaly patches, warts, or crusty growths with a central depression. They sometimes bleed.
This is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, and it is life-threatening if left untreated. Melanoma develops in your melanocytes, which are the cells responsible for producing your skin’s pigment. These cancers often resemble or stem from moles.
Understanding which type of skin cancer is present is the first step in determining the best treatment path. Dr. Blum provides thorough skin cancer screenings, as well as certain nonsurgical treatment options, and can refer you to a specialist if you require more advanced intervention.
When should I consider skin cancer screenings?
Most types of skin cancer are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, which penetrates your skin and changes your skin cells. Researchers believe that UV rays trigger skin cancer in men and women with a genetic predisposition to the disease.
There are certain risk factors that make you more likely to develop skin cancer. You may have an elevated risk if any of the following apply:
- Light skin color
- Red or blond hair
- Green or blue eyes
- Large number of moles
- Skin that burns easily or has freckles
- Family history of skin cancer
If you have a high risk for skin cancer, scheduling routine skin cancer screenings with a trained dermatologist should be part of your overall health care plan.
How can I prevent skin cancer?
The best way to prevent skin cancer is to embrace a rigorous UV protection routine. That includes wearing a high-quality sunscreen with a high SPF each and every day, not just when you’re planning to spend hours in the sun.
You may not think about it, but you’re taking in UV rays all the time. Even when you’re driving to work or sitting by an airplane window, you’re exposed to the sun’s rays.
Wearing clothing that covers your skin and using a hat and sunglasses to protect your face reduces your exposure. If you have fair skin and light hair and eyes, you should be extra vigilant, although even people with dark skin and hair develop skin cancer.
Book an appointment with Dr. Blum today, online or by phone, for a complete skin mapping and skin cancer screening, as well as a discussion of how to best protect your skin from all types of skin cancer.