Kristy Fleming, MD

Kristy Fleming, MD

Fleming Dermatology & Aesthetic Center is located at 23141 Moulton Parkway, Suite 110 in Laguna Hills.
For information, call (949) 916-5956 or visit www.flemingderm.com

There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Because each has many different appearances, it is important to know the early warning signs.

Look especially for change of any kind. Do not ignore a suspicious spot simply because it does not hurt. Skin cancers may be painless, but dangerous all the same. If you notice one or more of the warning signs, see a board-certified dermatologist right away, preferably one who specializes in diseases of the skin.

Actinic keratosis

AK1An actinic keratosis (AK) is a crusty, scaly growth caused by damage from exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. An AK is considered a precancer because if left alone, it could develop into a skin cancer. AKs are the product of a lifetime accumulation of UV damage and typically appear on areas most commonly exposed sun, such as the backs of the hands, forearms, face, neck, and scalp.

BASAL CELL CARCINOMA

BCC1Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most frequently occurring form of all cancers, with more than 4 million cases of diagnosed in the U.S. each year. BCCs may look like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or scars. Any skin lesion that doesn’t heal, or bleeds with even gentle trauma, such as drying with a towel, is concerning for a BCC.

SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA

SCC1Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells arising in the epidermis, the skin’s outermost layer. SCCs often look like scaly red patches, crusty bumps, warts, or elevated growths with a central depression. SCCs may appear suddenly and some forms are tender to touch. They can become disfiguring and sometimes deadly if allowed to grow. More than 1 million cases of SCC are diagnosed each year in the U.S., which translates to about 115 cases diagnosed every hour. Incidence has increased by 200 percent in the past three decades in the U.S., and more than 15,000 Americans die each year from this type of skin cancer.

Melanoma

melanoma1Melanoma is a very dangerous form of skin cancer. Melanoma is caused mainly by intense, occasional UV exposure (frequently leading to sunburn), especially in those who are genetically predisposed to the disease. An estimated 178,560 cases of melanoma are diagnosed in the U.S. each year and is fatal for an estimated 9,320 of these patients. Fortunately, if melanoma is recognized and treated early, it is almost always curable.


WHAT PATIENTS NEED TO KNOW

1. Everyone needs to perform a self-skin exam once a month.
2. Melanoma can appear anywhere on the skin, including the palms/soles, under your nails, and places...for most, have never seen the light of day (genitalia). For this reason, it is important to look everywhere. Lock the bathroom door, get out a hand mirror, and check, it could save your life.
3. What to look for: ABCDEs, and an ugly duckling
A - Asymmetry: If I draw a line down the middle, do the sides match?
B - Border: Is there a nice crisp border, or does the mole melt into the surrounding skin?
C - Color: Moles should be one color, one shade of brown. Is there a variety of shades or additional colors, such as black, red, white, or blue?
D - Diameter: Any mole larger than 6mm, ie the head of a pencil eraser, has a higher risk of becoming melanoma.
E - Evolution: Has it changed?
F - The Ugly Duckling Sign: Most people have a “signature mole,” their own personal mole appearance and architecture. Is there a mole that seems different from all the others?
4. Everyone needs a full body skin exam by a board-certified dermatologist once a year, more frequently if you have a family history of skin cancer, a personal history of skin cancer, or live in an area with substantial sunshine.


COMPLIMENTARY SKIN CANCER SCREENING
Thursday, March 26th
Space is limited. Please call to schedule your screening time.
NEW PATIENTS ONLY
(949) 916-5956

People of all ages get skin cancer. Checking your skin can help you find skin cancer early when it’s highly treatable.

Skin cancer is actually one of the easiest cancers to find. That’s because skin cancer usually begins where you can see it.

You can get skin cancer anywhere on your skin — from your scalp to the bottoms of your feet. Even if the area gets little sun, it’s possible for skin cancer to develop there.

You can also get skin cancer in places that may surprise you. Skin cancer can begin under a toenail or fingernail, on your genitals, inside your mouth, or on a lip.

The best way to find skin cancer is to examine yourself. When checking, you want to look at the spots on your skin. And you want to check everywhere — from your scalp (parting your hair to check your entire scalp) to the spaces between your toes and the bottoms of your feet.

If possible, having a partner can be helpful. Your partner can examine hard-to-see areas like your scalp and back.

Getting in the habit of checking your skin will help you notice changes. Checking monthly can be beneficial.

What skin cancer looks like

Skin cancer appears on the body in many different ways. It can look like a:

  • Changing mole or mole that looks different from your others
  • Dome-shaped growth
  • Scaly patch
  • Non-healing sore or sore that heals and returns
  • Brown or black streak under a nail

To find skin cancer on your body, you don’t have to remember a long list. It’s time to see a dermatologist if you notice a spot on your skin that:

  • Differs from the others
  • Changes
  • Itches
  • Bleeds

If you find a spot on your skin that could be skin cancer, see a dermatologist. Found early, skin cancer is highly treatable.

Given time to grow, treatment for skin cancer becomes more difficult. See a suspicious spot? See a dermatologist.


Complimentary Skin Cancer Screening!
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Space is limited. Please call to schedule your consultation time.