Are you taking proper care of your body’s largest organ? You may be surprised to learn that this is not your liver, but rather your skin. More surprisingly is that current estimates are that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer. Although more than 2 million nonmelanoma skin cancers are diagnosed annually, melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for at least 30 years. Thankfully, the five-year survival rate for people whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 98 percent. With numbers this striking, it’s easy to see why visiting your Forest Hills dermatologist for skin cancer screening and treatment is so important.
The American Cancer Society recommends a skin cancer-related checkup and counseling about sun exposure as part of any periodic health examination for men and women beginning at age 20. People who have more than 50 moles, atypical moles, or a family history of melanoma are at an increased risk of developing melanoma These individuals should receive a full-body exam from their Forest Hills dermatologist at least annually and perform regular self-exams for new and changing moles. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are the two most common forms of skin cancer, but both are easily treated if detected early. A complete screening, including a total body scan will be performed for early detection and treatment of skin cancers. Screening is an essential part of preventive medicine. Squamous cell carcinomas detected at an early stage and removed promptly are almost always curable and cause minimal damage. However, left untreated, they eventually penetrate the underlying tissues and can become disfiguring. A small percentage even metastasize to local lymph nodes, distant tissues, and organs and can become fatal. Therefore, any suspicious growth should be seen by a physician without delay. A tissue sample (biopsy) will be examined under a microscope to arrive at a diagnosis. If tumor cells are present, treatment is required. Treatment can almost always be performed on an outpatient basis in a physician’s office or at a clinic. A local anesthetic is used during most surgical procedures. Pain or discomfort is usually minimal, and there is rarely much pain afterward.
The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 65,161 people a year worldwide die from too much sun, mostly from malignant skin cancer. With the increase in skin cancer over the last few years, Dr. Kleinberg has treated many skin cancers and has had training in surgery as well as dermatology. After examination, he will select the right treatment for each particular lesions. The survival rate for skin cancer is exceptionally high; but only when detected early. Visit our Forest Hills dermatologist, Charles Kleinberg, MD, for skin cancer treatment and screening today.