MELODY FOX NP
Skin cancer is the most prevalent of all types of human cancers. Skin cancer most often develops on skin that is exposed to the sun’s harmful rays. Fair-skinned people who sunburn easily are at a particularly high risk for developing skin cancer. Other causes of skin cancer include repeated medical and industrial x-ray exposure, occupational exposure to compounds such as coal tar and arsenic, scarring from diseases or burns and a family history of skin cancer.
TYPES OF SKIN CANCER
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It frequently appears in areas that are often exposed to the sun such as the hands, head, and neck as a small, fleshy bump. Basal cell carcinomas are commonly found in fair-skinned people and rarely in dark skinned people. They typically are slow growing.
Left untreated, the cancer often will begin to bleed, crust over, heal, and repeat the cycle. Basal cell carcinoma rarely metastasizes (spreads to other parts of the body), but it can extend below the skin to the bone and nerves, causing local damage.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common skin cancer. It is primarily found in fair-skinned people and rarely in dark-skinned individuals. It typically is located in places that are exposed to UV rays such as the rim of the ear, the face, lips, and mouth. Squamous cell carcinoma may appear as a bump, or as a red, scaly patch.
This type of cancer can develop into large masses and become invasive. Unlike basal cell carcinoma, this form of cancer can metastasize (spread to other parts of the body); therefore, it is important to get early treatment. When found early and treated properly, the cure rate for both basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas is over 95 percent.
Actinic keratoses are considered the earliest stage in the development of skin cancer. They are small red rough spots that are most frequently found on the face, ears, neck, lower arms, and back of the hands in fair-skinned individuals who have had significant sun exposure.
There are a number of treatments available to treat actinic keratoses. This includes cryotherapy (freezing), topical chemotherapy (applying a cream or lotion), dermabrasion, laser surgery, chemical peeling, curettage, and photodynamic therapy (a chemical is applied to the skin prior to exposure to a light source). Even after extensive sun damage has already occurred, the proper use of sunscreens can help prevent actinic keratoses.
Malignant melanoma is the deadliest of all skin cancers. The death rate is declining because melanoma is usually curable when detected in its early stages and patients are seeking help sooner. Melanoma begins in melanocytes, the skin cells that produce the dark protective pigment called melanin that makes the skin tan. Since melanoma cells usually continue to produce melanin, the cancer appears in mixed shades of tan, brown, and black although it can also be red or white.
It is important to know the location and appearance of the moles on the body to detect changes early since melanoma can metastasize (spread). Melanoma may appear suddenly or begin in or near a mole, or another dark spot in the skin so it is imperative to see a dermatologist for any changing mole. Early melanoma can be removed while still in the curable stage.
Excessive sun exposure, especially sunburn, is the most important preventable cause of melanoma. Light-skinned individuals are at particular risk. Heredity also plays a part. A person has an increased chance of developing melanoma if a relative or close family member has had melanoma. Atypical moles (dysplastic nevi), which may run in families, and a large number of moles, can serve as markers for people at increased risk for developing melanoma. Dark skin is not a guarantee against melanoma. People with dark skin can develop melanoma, especially on the palms, soles, under the nails or in the mouth.
Warning Signs of Melanoma Include:
Changes in the surface of a mole.
Scaling, oozing, bleeding, or the appearance of a new bump.
Spread of pigment from the border of a mole into surrounding skin.
Change in sensation including itchiness, tenderness, or pain.
SERVICES & FEES
Initial Full Skin Body Scan
1 hour long consultation appointment + 1 biopsy
A skin biopsy is a procedure to remove cells or skin samples from your body for laboratory examination. A doctor uses a skin biopsy to diagnose skin conditions and remove abnormal tissue.
Cryotherapy is a simple, non-invasive procedure that utilizes extreme cold temperature to rapidly freeze and destroy unwanted skin lesions, growths or pigmentation marks on the skin. This treatment is effective for removing precancerous skin lesions (actinic keratoses), erasing dark spots, moles, tags, milia, and warts.
$35 per lesion
We are a professional fee-for-service healthcare practice.
Fees are payable at the time of the visit by credit card, email transfer or cheque.
Our fees may be covered under your insurance plan. We recommend calling your insurance provider and inquiring directly.
Based out of The Blue Mountains Community Health Center.
78 King Street East, Thornbury, N0H 2P0