Skin cancer threatens the lives of millions of Americans. Dermatologist, Dr. Patricia McCormack of Staten Island, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, and Linden, NJ, not only treats skin cancer, she shows her patients steps to reduce your chances of getting skin cancer. Have healthy skin for life.
Types of skin cancer
The American Cancer Society (ACS) says that skin cancer is the most common kind of cancer. Affecting people of all ages, this malignancy can be treated successfully when it's detected in its earliest stages.
Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are the two skin cancers most people develop. Another, malignant melanoma, is the most deadly as it spreads to other parts of the body.
Preventing skin cancer
Too much sun exposure changes our skin, but not for the better. UV rays from the sun age your skin prematurely, lead to cataract formation and cause skin cancer. So, your dermatologist in Staten Island, NY, recommends some simple strategies to limit UV radiation, including:
- Daily application of SPF 30 sunscreen.
- Staying in the shade or inside during peak sun hours of 10 am and two pm.
- Never using artificial tanning sources.
- Using a broad-brimmed hat and long-sleeved cover-up clothing at the beach or pool side.
Also, Dr. McCormack asks her patients to stop smoking and get an annual skin exam every year if you are 40 or older.
Screening yourself for skin cancer
You should do this at home once a month. Visually inspect the skin all over your body. Have your spouse help you to look at hard to see areas, such as your back.
Look for new spots or moles, changes in skin color and texture and any sore which continues to hurt, itch, bleed or grow over a period of a week or more. If you have moles (nevi), they should not change or increase in number.
Here is a self-screening tool you can use at home to check on your moles:
A for asymmetry. If halved, each side of a mole should be the same size and shape.
B for border. Mole edges should be smooth, not notched or scalloped.
C for color. Most moles are beige or brown. Multi-colored surfaces or color changes may signal cancer.
D for diameter. A benign mole is no larger than a pencil eraser (6 mm).
E for evolving. If an existing mole begins to look different in any way, it could be melanoma.
If you have concerns about a mole, freckle or spot, contact your skin doctor for an evaluation.
At this time...
Our office is open for skin cancer evaluations. Dr. Patricia McCormack and her team also see patients via convenient Telemedicine consults. Call us to arrange your appointment. We have three locations to serve you.
In Staten Island, NY, phone (718) 698-1616. In Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, call (732) 295-1331, and in Linden, NJ, reach us at (908) 925-8877.