Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the US, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, but you can help prevent it with annual skin cancer screenings. The team, led by dermatologist Pinkas Lebovits, MD, PC, provides comprehensive skin cancer screenings at Park Plaza Dermatology in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. To schedule a skin cancer & screening consultation, call Park Plaza Dermatology, or schedule an appointment online.
Skin cancer is a sudden growth of abnormal cells in the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin. It’s caused by DNA damage, which triggers cell mutations that can form malignant (invasive) tumors. When left untreated, skin cancers — particularly melanoma — can spread to other areas of the body, including the liver, stomach, and brain.
There are three main types of skin cancer:
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common and least invasive form of skin cancer. They typically look like red or pink spots that can bleed or become crusty. Often mistaken for a bump, a telltale sign of basal cell carcinomas is that they don’t heal. Fortunately, they are slow-growing and don’t usually spread beyond the surface of the skin.
Though squamous cell carcinomas aren’t typically invasive, they can spread to other areas of the body, unlike basal cell carcinomas. These slow-growing carcinomas are often scaly, crusty bumps on the skin that occasionally bleed.
Malignant melanoma is the most deadly of all skin cancers and can develop suddenly or gradually grow in the form of a mole or freckle. Melanoma is extremely invasive and typically appears as a brown, tan, black, red, or white blemish on the skin. Your chances of developing melanoma increase if you burn easily in the sun, but those with dark skin can also get melanoma.
If you’re concerned about a mole, freckle, or blemish on your skin, schedule a skin cancer screening with Park Plaza Dermatology, so a provider can check for signs of abnormal tissue or cancer.
A skin cancer screening typically takes about 10 minutes, during which time your provider performs a physical exam of your skin. It’s important to point out any moles or marks that are concerning you at this time.
At your screening, the provider at Park Plaza Dermatology checks for the following possible signs of skin cancer:
If he suspects one of your moles or blemishes to be cancerous, your provider may take a biopsy by numbing the skin around it and removing a small portion of the mark. He then sends this biopsy to the lab for testing.
Annual skin cancer screenings are crucial for diagnosing and treating skin cancer before it has a chance to spread. Schedule an appointment with Park Plaza Dermatology by phone or online to learn more.