If you are the type of person who spends a lot of time out in the sun or if you have a family history of skin cancer, then you need to be extra careful when it comes to doing self skin cancer checks. By getting into the habit of performing self-checks on your skin a couple of times a month, you can hopefully catch early signs of skin cancer before it gets worse.
When doing a skin cancer check, use both your hands and your eyes to look for abnormalities. For instance, if you notice that your freckles are more elevated and raised than they used to be, then this could be a sign that they are cancerous. Other things to look for are changes in their appearance such as jagged edges, dark spots on the inside, darkening freckles overall, or freckles that just look out of the ordinary. If you do notice any of these signs, then it's time to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist to learn more about treatment.
A Proper Diagnosis
Just because you think that something is abnormal, it doesn't mean it is. During a dermatological exam, your dermatologist will take a closer look at your skin abnormalities. If they are concerned about it, they will typically scrape off the freckles or mole and send it off to be biopsied. In situations where biopsy results come back positive, then it's time for treatment.
The good news about melanoma cancer treatment is that it's a type of cancer that's treatable as long as it is caught in the early stages. Where the freckle is located will determine how it will be removed. Typically, the top portion will be cut off for the biopsy and then the remainder of it will either be surgically removed with something like a scalpel or it will be frozen off with a procedure called cryotherapy. Cryotherapy is a procedure that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and essentially kill off cancerous cells. Your dermatologist will discuss every step of the treatment process with you to ensure that you are well informed and comfortable with the treatment.
If you notice any rare skin problems that you are concerned are cancerous, don't be hesitant to reach out to your dermatologist; after all, it's better to be safe. If you want to learn a little bit more about melanoma diagnosis and treatment, reach out to a specialist near you today.