Skin Cancer - Marlene J. Mash, MD

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Skin Cancer

Medical Dermatology
What is Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells. It most often develops on areas of the skin exposed to the sun’s rays. Skin cancer affects people of all colors and races, although those with light skin who sunburn easily have a higher risk.  
There are three types of skin cancer that account for nearly 100% of all diagnosed cases: basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and melanoma.
What does Skin Cancer look like?
The most common warning sign of skin cancer is a change to your skin.
And the most common change is something growing on your skin. This growth can appear on the skin in many ways. Go to Dr. Mash's Library to see and read more about
skin cancer appearance and signs.

Sunscreens for you to purchase from our Professional Product Collection. (We recommend our complimentary product consultation before purchasing.)
How do we diagnose skin cancer?
To diagnose skin cancer, we look at the skin. We will carefully examine growths, moles, and dry patches.
To get a better look, a we may use a device called a dermoscope. This device will shine a light on the skin. It magnifies the skin. This helps us to see pigment and structures in the skin.

If we find something that looks like skin cancer, we will remove it (or part of it). The removed skin will be sent to a lab. We may call this a biopsy. Skin cancer cannot be diagnosed without a biopsy.

A biopsy is quick, safe, and easy for us to perform. A biopsy should not cause anxiety. The discomfort and risks are minimal.
There are many treatments for skin cancer. Dr. Mash will select a treatment after considering the following:
  • Type of skin cancer
  • Where the skin cancer appears on the body
  • Whether the skin cancer is aggressive
  • Stage of the cancer (how deeply the skin cancer has grown and whether it has spread)
  • Patient’s health 

To read more about treatments, visit the Dr. Mash Library by clicking here.

What to Look for During a Skin Self-Exam 
As you or your partner examines your skin, look for changes in the size, color, shape, or texture of any marks on your skin. 

Signs of skin cancer include: 
  • Mole that is different from the rest, itches, bleeds, or is changing in any way — even if the mole is smaller than 6 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser) 
  • Sore that never fully heals 
  • Translucent growth with rolled edges 
  • Brown or black streak underneath a nail 
  • Cluster of slow-growing, shiny pink or red lesions 
  • Waxy-feeling scar
  • Flat or slightly depressed lesion that feels hard to the touch 

Tell your doctor if you find a suspicious lesion. 

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