Summer’s just about here and you’re probably eager to bask in the sun. While you may love to soak up the rays as much as possible, it’s important that you protect yourself from harmful skin cancers. It’s estimated that nearly 3.3 million people develop some sort of skin cancer every year. What’s interesting about this astronomically high number is that a majority of these cases could have been prevented with help from dermatology associates in La Jolla, CA.
Dermatology and Skin Cancer
Dermatologists are licensed physicians who have chosen to specialize their practice in the treatment and care of the skin. Beyond advising the use of sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and protective clothing, dermatologists are constantly searching for new ways to protect their patients from the devastating effects of skin cancer.
Once a year, it’s advised that you set up an appointment with your dermatologist to have a skin check. During this appointment, your physician will carefully examine any moles, spots, or freckles that may be present on your skin. They’re looking for any abnormalities in shape, color, and texture. If any worrisome spots are found, they may be removed for a biopsy. The biopsy of these areas test for any pre-cancerous and cancerous cells. If any are found, treatment is immediately recommended to prevent the growth of cancer. Scans and further testing may be needed to determine if the cancer has spread.
Skin Cancer Treatments
There are many different forms of skin cancer. As such, there are also numerous treatments that dermatologists use to rid their patients of cancer. If the cancerous cells are minimal and located near the surface of the skin, a simple excision procedure may be all that’s required. For more severe cases of skin cancer, radiology, chemotherapy, and surgery may be necessary. Ultrasounds, CT scans, PET scans, and x-rays are valuable tools in ensuring that the cancer is treated and eradicated properly.
Once all treatments have been completed, dermatologists schedule follow up appointments with their patients to ensure that no further issues arise. Future screenings and tests may be necessary to prevent the return or growth of cancers.
How to Prevent Skin Cancer
Some skin cancer may stem from hereditary genes. While these can’t be avoided, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. First and foremost, protect yourself while in the sun. Wear protective clothing and a broad-spectrum sunscreen while outdoors. Hats and sunglasses should also be worn. Avoid tanning beds or tanning in the sun while using oils. Also, make sure that you schedule regular appointments with your dermatologist in La Jolla, CA for skin checks. If you notice an irregular spot before your next scheduled appointment, call for an immediate visit. Don’t leave anything up to chance! The more you communicate with your dermatologist, the less likely you are to develop skin cancer. If you have concerns, questions, or you’re looking to make an appointment, contact the skin experts from the Academic & Aesthetic Dermatology Consultants by visiting our website!