Skin Cancer Pictures and Symptoms to Watch For
Non-melanoma skin cancer is not always obvious when it first develops; in fact, you may well have a cancerous growth on or just below your skin for months and non-melanoma skin cancer — like basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, the two most common forms of skin cancer — does not initially cause other symptoms like physical pain or a sense of illness. Thus detection on the skin is the only reliable way to detect skin cancer early, and early detection is the only reliable way to get the best treatment for skin cancer on Long Island, New York. So you need to know what you’re looking for.
If you find images of skin cancer, you will see all of the following common non-melanoma skin cancer symptoms:
- Flaky Patches of Skin – Skin cancer carcinomas often present as rough patches of skin that shed flakes periodically and are usually yellowish to reddish and have a waxy appearance.
- Raised Shiny Bumps – Skin cancer symptoms Long Island residents often experience come in the form of raised, solid feeling bumps that have a pearly exterior and are usually pink or red in color.
- Sores or Lesions – An otherwise unexplained sore or lesion that will not heal as a wound usually does may well be a sign of skin cancer.
- Irregular Moles – Often thought of as the most common symptom of skin cancer, an oddly shaped, irregularly colored, or rapidly changing or growing mole may well be a sign of skin cancer.
If you spot any of these potential skin cancer symptoms, you need to get to a skin cancer specialist on Long Island right away, because the faster you start the best skin cancer treatment for your diagnosis, the faster you can beat the disease and get on with your life.
How Serious Is Basal Cell Skin Cancer?
Basal cell skin cancer is one of the slowest growing forms of skin cancer and for most patients, once identified, it can be removed completely and without complication. You may have a basal cell carcinoma for many months without knowing it and still be able to get your skin cancer cured completely without lasting adverse effects. That said, left untreated indefinitely, basal cell cancer can and will spread, creating a larger issue on your skin and potentially much more serious health risk if the skin cancer penetrates down into your skin and even into bones or other organs. Once basal cell cancer metastasizes like that, your health is at serious risk, and mortality becomes an issue.
Squamous cell skin cancer is the second most common type of skin cancer after basal cell, and all told the several types of non-melanoma skin cancer are the most common form of cancer in America today. (The most common forms of cancer on earth are lung cancer and breast cancer, for reference.) Squamous cell cancer spreads more rapidly than basal cell skin cancer, and thus it is more dangerous and potentially life-threatening. But caught and treated swiftly, squamous cell cancer is as curable as basal cell carcinoma.
For some perspective on how dangerous non-melanoma skin cancer is, some types of melanoma, the much more serious type of skin cancer, can become life threatening in just six weeks without treatment. Melanoma accounts for just 5% of skin cancer cases but more than 75% of skin cancer deaths.
Your Options for Skin Cancer Treatment on Long Island, NY
Your Long Island, New York skin cancer doctors will likely recommend one of the following skin cancer treatment options based on the type, size, location, and level of development and spread of your non-melanoma skin cancer:
- Surgical Excision – The most “traditional” skin cancer treatment is an excisions surgery where the carcinoma is cut away and the wound treated as required by scope and location. The benefits of skin cancer surgery include the speed at which it can be commenced and completed; the drawbacks include potentially prominent scarring.
- Cryosurgery – Some Long Island skin cancer doctors prefer cryosurgery for recently developed and smaller carcinomas. Liquid nitrogen is applied in astral form or with a precise applicator, freezing the cancerous tissue and causing it to fall off. Benefits include minimal lasting side effects, but there can be a painful wound left temporarily.
- Mohs Surgery – This highly successful surgery involves slicing away of precise layers of tissue that are then immediately tested for cancer, with more layers removed until only healthy tissue remains.
- Superficial Radio Therapy – Another skin cancer treatment with a very high cure rate, Superficial Radio Therapy, or SRT, uses low doses of radiation concentrated on the carcinoma to kill it off; the benefits include no pain and minimal if any scarring, while the one notable drawback is that SRT can take multiple sessions spread over several weeks.