Skin Cancer

Integrated Dermatology of Clinton

Dermatologists located in Clinton, CT

Roughly 5.4 million new cases of squamous or basal cell skin cancers are diagnosed each year in the United States. Because the expert board-certified dermatology team at Integrated Dermatology of Clinton offers the latest in skin cancer diagnostic and treatment solutions, they can help you get the care you need. Schedule your skin cancer evaluation at this Clinton, Connecticut-based dermatology practice by requesting an appointment online or by calling the office directly.

Skin Cancer Q & A

What are the signs of skin cancer?

Skin cancer occurs when skin cells start dividing and growing abnormally. In most cases, skin cancer forms on areas of your skin that are exposed to the sun, including your face, scalp, ears, and chest. Some of the most common warning signs of skin cancer are described below.

Basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma, which typically forms on sun-exposed areas, often appears as a pearly or waxy bump or a flesh-colored lesion. You might also find that you have a small bleeding sore that scabs over, heals, then returns.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma often appears as a firm, red nodule, or a flat, scaly lesion. Although squamous cell carcinoma tends to develop on sun-exposed areas, if you have darker skin, this type of cancer can even form on areas that don’t regularly get sun exposure.

Melanoma

Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, can form anywhere on your body. It can develop in otherwise healthy skin or begin in a mole. Signs of melanoma include:

  • Painful lesions that burn or itch
  • Moles that change in shape, size, or color
  • Large brownish spots that contain darker speckles

If you notice any of these warning signs of skin cancer, it’s important to schedule a comprehensive skin check right away.

Why do I have skin cancer?

Skin cancer can develop for a variety of reasons. Though it’s still true that years of sun exposure or tanning bed use can increase your risk of skin cancer, your chances of developing this serious condition also go up due to:

  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Weakened immune system
  • Having multiple moles
  • History of sunburns
  • Being fair-skinned

Your risk of skin cancer can further increase if you have precancerous skin lesions, known as actinic keratoses. Though both men and women should be having annual skin checks, the skin care experts at Integrated Dermatology of Clinton may recommend more frequent exams if any of these risk factors apply to you.

How is skin cancer treated?

Your dedicated dermatologist at Integrated Dermatology of Clinton can perform a simple skin biopsy right in the office to confirm — or rule out — a skin cancer diagnosis. Depending on the outcome of your biopsy and skin examination, your skin cancer treatment plan may involve any of the following therapies:

  • Freezing therapy (cryosurgery)
  • Curettage and electrodesiccation to destroy remaining cancer cells
  • Excisional surgery to remove the cancerous growth and surrounding tissues
  • Mohs surgery for larger or more complex cancerous lesions

If your skin cancer is in a more advanced stage or has spread to other tissues, your dermatologist might need to get you started on radiation therapy or chemotherapy. But the team at Integrated Dermatology of Clinton understand how overwhelming a skin cancer diagnosis can be. They spend time counseling you on all of your treatment options, so you can work together to do what’s best for you.

If you have signs of skin cancer or have a family history of skin cancer, schedule an exam at Integrated Dermatology of Clinton right away. Book your appointment online or over the phone.