Different Kinds of Skin Cancer & How to Detect Cancer Early

POSTED ON THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2014 AT 5:22 PM  by Dr. Jody Levine

Hearing the words “skin cancer” can initially cause feelings of shock and worry. Over 2 million people a year are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer, and 3 out of 10 Caucasian adults will experience skin cancer in their life. Although skin cancer is a diagnosis that’s never taken lightly, there are a variety of skin cancers, including BCC, SCC, and melanoma and some skin cancers a more severe than others, but most are easily treated with early detection. When detected early, survival rate is high. Our NYC dermatologist, Dr. Jody Levine, can diagnose various types of skin cancer, including:

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC):  The most common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma is an uncontrolled growth or lesion that appears in the skin’s basal cell. Usually developing from long hours in the sun, BCCs most often occurs on the head, neck, and back of hands. BCCs are easily treated in early stages. The larger a tumor grows, the more extensive a treatment may be needed. Oftentimes, BCCs on the scalp or nose are more troublesome, however, with reoccurrences typically visible within the first two years after surgery.

 Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC): The second most common form of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma is an uncontrolled growth or lesion that appears in the skin’s squamous cells, appearing as scaly, red patches, open sores, elevated growths or warts that may crust or bleed.  Similar to BCC, these growths or lesions appear on areas exposed to the sun for numerous years and are most often found on the head, neck, or back of the hands.

Melanoma: The most dangerous form of skin cancer, melanoma, grows in stages and has the ability to spread to internal organs, lymph nodes, or other regions of the skin far from the original melanoma. Family genetics have shown a predisposition to melanoma, but melanoma can also be caused by UV radiation from the sun, tanning beds, and sun lamps. Some melanoma can be superficial, but all forms of melanoma are diagnosed with a biopsy. Melanoma is extremely curable when found early, but without early treatment, melanoma can be deadly.

Be aware of the signs of skin cancer for early detection. By examining yourself head-to-toe in a full length mirror, you can check your body for changes in the appearance of your moles, beauty marks, or brown spots, including:

  • Shape, size, texture, or color
  • Irregular outline or border
  • New appearances of spots

Also be cautious of a spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, erode, bleed, or scab, and open sores that don’t heal. If you detect any abnormalities in your skin, Dr. Jody Levine offers a variety of diagnosing options, including mole mapping, to identify any irregularities that may be a concern.

Do you have abnormal growths, lesions or spots on your skin? Our NYC dermatologist, Dr. Jody Levine, NYC Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Elie Levine, and staff at Plastic Surgery and Dermatology of NYC welcome any questions you may have about your skin cancer in NYC. Contact our office at 212.988.1800, or request an appointment online today for your personal consultation! 


Additional Links:

Skin Cancer NYC

Moh’s Reconstruction New York City

Mole Mapping New York

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