MEDICAL DERMATOLOGY I SKIN CANCER SCREENING
Most skin cancers are treatable, especially if they are found early. Having skin cancer screenings is an important part of your healthcare routine. South Africa has a high incidence of skin cancer. Any adult who has never had a screening for skin cancer should consider scheduling a full-body skin exam with their dermatologist.
- Basal cell carcinoma – this is a type of skin cancer that is found at the bottom of the epidermis, the thin, outer layer of the skin. Basal cell carcinoma normally appears as a slightly transparent bump on the skin and often occurs in areas of the skin that are mostly exposed to the sun, like the head and neck. This skin cancer appears as a growth or sore that doesn’t heal.
- Squamous cell carcinoma – this is a type of skin cancer that begins in the squamous cells, cells that make up the epidermis. They can vary in their appearance, but most usually appear as a scaly or crusty raised area of skin with a red, inflamed base. SCCs can be sore or tender and they can bleed, but this is not always the case. They can also appear as an ulcer.
- Melanoma – Melanoma is a potentially serious form of skin cancer where there is uncontrolled growth of melanocytes (pigment cells). Melanoma can develop within normal-appearing skin or from within a mole. The first sign of melanoma is a change in an existing mole or the development of a new pigmented or unusual-looking growth on your skin.