Posts for tag: Skin Cancer
Despite greater awareness and education about the dangers of sun damage and overexposure, skin cancer diagnoses have been on the rise in recent years, especially among younger adults. According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. As with most types of cancer, prevention and early detection are the keys to successful treatment. The dermatologists at Atlas Dermatology in Baton Rouge and Prairieville, LA, Dr. William Massengale, Dr. Jessica LeBlanc and Dr. Ashley Record, recommend regular skin cancer screenings and taking precautions to lower your risk of developing skin cancer.
Skin Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Baton Rouge or Prairieville, LA
There are three types of skin cancer:
- Basal cell
- Squamous cell
Skin cancers typically develop in areas of the body that receive the most exposure to the sun, but they can develop anywhere. Knowing the signs and symptoms of skin cancer is important in order to receive a timely diagnosis and treatment. Schedule an appointment with a dermatologist if you notice changes to existing moles, new growths, rashes or scaly patches, or sores that don't heal properly.
The treatment options depend on the severity and type of skin cancer. If a growth or lesion looks suspicious, the dermatologist may remove it and send it to the lab for a biopsy. In some cases, removing the mole or lesion is all that is necessary. Melanoma is the most likely to spread to other parts of the body if left untreated, in which case surgery, medication, radiation, and chemotherapy may be necessary.
Taking common-sense precautions against sun damage and familiarizing yourself with your personal risk factors can help you lower your risk of developing skin cancer.
Find a Dermatologist in Baton Rouge or Prairieville, LA
For more information about skin cancer prevention, warning signs, and treatment options, contact Atlas Dermatology to schedule an appointment with one of our dermatologists by calling (225) 313-4560 in Baton Rouge or (225) 313-4560 in Prairieville.
For many people, the signs of disease don't appear until it's progressed. Skin cancer, however, often gives patients the unique advantage of recognizing the problem early; the key is knowing what to look for. That's why Dr. Trent Massengale, Dr. Jessica LeBlanc, and Dr. Ashley Record of Atlas Dermatology in Baton Rouge and Prairieville, LA want their patients to understand how to spot the early signs of skin cancer so it can be evaluated and treated promptly. The three main types of skin cancer and their typical presentations are discussed here.
Basal cell carcinoma
This slow-growing skin cancer, shortened to BCC, is the most common of all cancerous tumors, making up about 32% of cancer worldwide according to the National Cancer Institute. For most people, it appears on the skin that has received many years of sun exposure; for those who find it elsewhere, it may be due to genetics. Basal cell carcinoma often appears as a nodule, or bump, which may or may not be indented in the center. However, BCC can also look similar to eczema or acne scarring, which are both harmless skin conditions. This is why it's so important to see your Baton Rouge dermatology professional for an accurate diagnosis.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Like BCC, many squamous cell skin cancers are due to repeated exposure to UV rays. SCC is less common than BCC, but also brings with it a higher chance of invasiveness. Our dermatologists in Baton Rouge often see SCC presenting as a lump that may have an ulcer, or break in the skin, on top. However, it can take on many forms. Yearly skin checks at Atlas Dermatology will help identify any potential skin cancers and treat them accordingly.
Melanoma is by far the least common skin cancer, only accounting for 1% of all skin cancers, but it is, unfortunately, the most likely to spread to other places in the body, making it the most deadly. At Atlas Dermatology in Baton Rouge, we encourage patients to be vigilant about changes in their skin by remembering the "ABCDE" rule:
Asymmetry: One side of the mole or growth looks completely different than the opposite side
Borders: Instead of being smooth, the borders are "choppy" or uneven
Color: The mole has two or more colors throughout.
Diameter: The mole is larger than 5 millimeters around (about the size of a pencil eraser).
Evolving: Noticeable changes have occurred in the mole or growth over time.
If you need to schedule a full-body skin evaluation, contact Atlas Dermatology in Baton Rouge and Prairieville, LA to meet with Dr. Trent Massengale, Dr. Jessica LeBlanc, and Dr. Ashley Record. Making this part of your health routine is essential!
Find out the warning signs that might make a mole suspect.
Most people have moles somewhere on their body, generally anywhere from at least 10 moles but usually no more than 40. While moles are genetic, other factors like your sun exposure increase how many moles you have. If you have a mole that is new or one you just noticed you might wondering if it’s a cause for concern. Learn more about different moles and when you might want to see one of our Baton Rouge dermatologists Dr. William Trent Massengale, Dr. Jessica LeBlanc and Dr. Ashley Coreil Record.
Types of Moles
There are three main types of moles:
Congenital: These moles are present from the moment you’re born and they may be at an increased risk of developing skin cancer later on in life.
Acquired: This is the most common type of mole, and they usually develop during childhood or early adulthood. Acquired moles may be the result of sun exposure but many of them won’t develop into skin cancer.
Atypical: These moles are much larger than regular moles and are often irregularly shaped. They may also contain more than one color. These moles are often hereditary and can increase your chances of skin cancer.
When You Should See Your Skin Doctor in Baton Rouge
If you notice a suspicious-looking growth then it’s always important to consult us right away to make sure that it isn’t melanoma. By examining your skin every day you can make it easier to spot new moles right away. If you have a family history of skin cancer or if you have a lot of moles or freckles it’s important that you see us for regular skin exams.
When looking at a mole always remember the ABCDEs of suspicious moles:
- A (Asymmetry): when half of a mole is shaped differently than the other half
- B (Border): when a mole has a poorly defined border
- C (Color): when a mole contains multiple colors (e.g. black, brown, red, etc.)
- D (Diameter): when a mole is larger than a pencil eraser
- E (Evolving) when a mole changes color, shape or size over time
Also, if a mole is painful, itches or bleeds this also means you should make a visit to our office. Always follow the ABCDEs of determining whether a mole is suspicious and if you aren’t sure, it’s always best to play it safe and see us.
Whether you have a suspicious mole or you just have questions about your skin, turn to the Baton Rouge skin care team at Atlas Dermatology. Call our office today!
Learn how to prevent skin cancer from your Baton Rouge, LA, dermatologists.
Spending too much time in the sun not only results in bad burns; it can also increase your risk of skin cancer. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce your chances of developing this common disease. Drs. W. Trent Massengale and Jessica LeBlanc, dermatology specialists in Prairieville and Baton Rouge, LA, are here to share the important steps you can take to prevent skin cancer.
Preventing burns is the best way to prevent skin cancer. Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun's rays are the strongest. Find a spot under a shady tree at the beach or use an umbrella to avoid exposure to the sun.
Sun damage doesn't just happen during a day at the beach. You're exposed to the effects of the sun every minute that you spend outside. You can lower your risk by wearing SPF 15 or higher sunscreen every day, in every season. Look for products that protect from both UVA and UVB rays. If you tend to burn easily, buy products that offer SPF 30 or SPF 50 protection. Reapply sunscreen often for maximum protection, and be sure to put on a fresh layer after you swim.
Exposure to the sun can also affect your eyes, causing melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer, and cataracts. Wraparound sunglasses provide the best protection from the sun's damaging rays. Make sure the glasses you choose block UV rays, because some fashion sunglasses may not provide adequate protection from the sun.
Stay away from tanning beds
Tanning beds are not a safer option than sunbathing. In fact, skin doctors report that indoor tanning has lead to an increase in the rates of melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Wear protective clothing
Protective clothing, combined with sunscreen, offers the best way to combat the effects of the sun. Wear hats, long sleeves and long pants when you can. If it's just too hot for heavy clothing, wear shirts or pants with built-in sun protection. Compare the ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of these garments before you buy them. If you choose a shirt with a UPF 30 rating, only 1/30th of the sun's rays will reach your skin, while a UPF 50 rating means that only 1/50th of the rays will penetrate your skin.
Contact your Prairieville and Baton Rouge dermatologist
Concerned that an unusual looking spot or mole might be a sign of skin cancer? Call your Prairieville and Baton Rouge, LA dermatologists, Drs. W. Trent Massengale and Jessica LeBlancat, at (255) 313-4560 for an appointment.