Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. More people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year than all other types of cancer combined. Courtney Lowe, MD, and his team at Etowah Family Medical in Gadsden, Alabama, provide skin cancer screenings as well as minor skin cancer removal. If you have concerns about a growth on your skin, call the office today or book an appointment online to schedule an evaluation.
Skin cancer refers to the abnormal growth of skin cells. It most often occurs on areas of the skin exposed to the sun, although cancer can also grow on skin not exposed to the sun.
There are three main types of skin cancer. The type of skin cancer you have determines the type of treatment you need. The main types include:
Basal cell carcinoma mostly occurs on the face and neck and is the most common type of skin cancer. These types of cancer growths may look pearly or waxy, or appear as a flat, flesh-colored scar. They may also bleed.
Like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma often develops on the sun-exposed parts of your body. This type of skin cancer may appear as a red nodule or a flat, crusty lesion.
Melanoma isn’t as common as basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma, but it’s the most dangerous type of skin cancer and can be deadly. These types of lesions usually appear as odd-shaped moles and develop anywhere on your body.
During a skin cancer screening, Dr. Lowe carefully evaluates your skin to look for abnormalities. He also recommends you check your skin regularly, which helps you stay on top of skin changes. He asks that you keep a close eye on your moles, even ones you’ve had all your life, to monitor for changes in appearance.
If Dr. Lowe finds an abnormal growth on your skin that appears to be skin cancer, he performs minor surgery, which may involve simply excising the tissue with a scalpel, to remove it. After your lesion is removed, Dr. Lowe has it sent to pathology for testing to determine if it is benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Depending on the results of the testing, Dr. Lowe provides the additional treatment you need or refers you to a specialist.
Regular skin cancer screenings, as well as skin cancer removals, are necessary to prevent complications. For an evaluation, call Etowah Family Medical today or book an appointment online.