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Medical Treatments

Melanoma and Skin Cancer Screening

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer.  These tumors originate in the pigment-producing melanocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis. Melanomas often resemble moles; some develop from moles. The majority of melanomas are black or brown, but they can also be skin-colored, pink, red, purple, blue or white. Melanoma is caused mainly by intense, occasional UV exposure (frequently leading to sunburn), especially in those who are genetically predisposed to the disease. Melanoma kills an estimated 9,940 people in the US annually.

Basal Cell Carcinoma is an abnormal, uncontrolled growth that arise in the skin’s basal cells, which line the deepest layer of the epidermis. They often look like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or scars and are usually caused by a combination of cumulative and intense, occasional sun exposure.  Although they rarely spread, they can be disfiguring if not treated promptly.  In 2010, an estimated 2.8 million cases were diagnosed in the US, making basal cell carincoma the most common form of skin cancer.

Squamous cell carcinoma is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells arising in the squamous cells, which compose most of the skin’s upper layers.  They often look like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression, or warts; they may crust or bleed. They can become disfiguring and sometimes deadly if allowed to grow. An estimated 700,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the US, and between 3,900 and 8,800 people died from the disease in the US in 2012.  Squamous cell carcinoma is mainly caused by cumulative ultraviolet (UV) exposure over the course of a lifetime.

At Horizon Dermatology and Laser Institute, we specialize in the detection and treatment of skin cancer.  Make an appointment for a skin cancer screening today.