Skin cancer affects one in five Americans, making it one of the most common types of cancers in the United States. At his offices in Greer, Simpsonville, and Greenville, South Carolina, John Humeniuk, MD, FRCP, provides comprehensive skin cancer screenings and treatment. Early detection is key when treating skin cancer. Call the practice, John M. Humeniuk MD, LLC, today or request an appointment online.
Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. The majority of skin cancer is slow-growing and seldom spreads to other parts of your body.
But mutations in your DNA can cause your skin cells to multiply at an alarming rate, leading to malignant tumors in the skin. This is the case with melanoma. While many cancerous tumors grow gradually in a localized area, melanoma develops rapidly and spreads throughout your body.
Of the many different types of skin cancer, the three most common are:
The most common cancer, basal cell carcinoma, is slow-growing and typically develops in areas of your body most exposed to the sun. Dermatologists most often see BCC on the neck, face, chest, and legs.
A basal cell carcinoma looks like a small, flesh-colored bump or a scaly, red patch of skin. BCC doesn’t metastasize (spread), but it can disfigure your skin.
The second most common kind of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, also grows slowly. It’s slightly more aggressive than basal cell carcinoma. Without treatment, a squamous cell carcinoma can penetrate into the deep layers of your skin before spreading to other parts of your body.
SCC shows up as a red, scaly patch of skin. It often looks slightly crusty and has a silvery sheen.
Melanoma is the most dangerous skin cancer — it spreads rapidly. Unlike BCC and SCC, melanoma isn’t always caused by extensive sun exposure. It develops as a dark, irregularly shaped mole or brown spot that gradually grows and changes.
While melanoma is challenging to treat once it spreads, it’s highly treatable in its earliest stages. Early detection is essential when treating melanoma.
The thing that most commonly causes skin cancer is spending a lot of time in the sun. Long periods in the sun without sunscreen dramatically raises your risk of developing skin cancer. If you're outdoors a lot, consider wearing SPF 30 or higher to protect yourself against skin cancer.
Tanning beds are another common skin cancer culprit. They beam UV rays directly into your skin. These UV rays are the part of sunlight that tans your skin but also causes skin cancer.
You’re more likely to develop skin cancer if you have fair skin, which burns more quickly than darker skin. However, you can still get skin cancer if you have dark skin and don’t easily burn.
A skin cancer screening is a preventive exam that assesses your risk of developing skin cancer. During a skin cancer screening, Dr. Humeniuk visually examines your skin, checking for abnormal growths and lesions.
If he finds a concerning lesion, he takes a small biopsy to determine if it’s cancerous. In some cases, Dr. Humeniuk removes the whole lesion. The entire screening takes 10-20 minutes.
Dr. Humeniuk can treat many early-stage skin cancer types at his office. Upon examination, he discusses the best treatment option to remove the cancerous growth entirely.
When necessary, Dr. Humeniuk will refer you to a general surgeon for further treatment.
A skin cancer screening is a quick, life-saving exam. To learn more, call the practice, John M. Humeniuk MD, LLC, today, or request an appointment online.