Dermatologist located in North Center, Chicago, IL
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. In the United States alone, over one million people are diagnosed with it each year. If you have a history of skin cancer or notice abnormal growths on your skin, board-certified dermatologist Edidiong Kaminska, MD, MBS, provides expert care at Kaminska Dermatology in Lakeview, Chicago. Get started on your skin cancer evaluation and treatment by booking an evaluation through the website. You can also call to schedule over the phone.
Skin Cancer Q & A
Am I at risk of skin cancer?
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. What makes it unique as compared to other organs is that it’s regularly exposed to outside elements, such as sunlight, which can lead to abnormal cell changes and thus, skin cancer.
You may be at risk of developing skin cancer if you have:
- Lots of moles on your body
- A family or personal medical history of skin cancer
- A history of sunburns, excessive sun exposure, or tanning bed use
Because skin cancer can spread quickly and even become life-threatening, it’s important to undergo routine skin checks and skin cancer screenings once a year or as recommended.
What are the signs of skin cancer?
Skin cancer leads to a variety of signs and symptoms, depending on the type. Some of the most common forms of skin cancer and their signs are described below.
Actinic keratosis is a type of precancerous lesion that can turn into squamous cell skin cancer if left untreated. This type of abnormal growth leads to red or brown spots that can become scaly or rough.
Basal cell carcinoma
Basal cell carcinoma surfaces as a small raised bump that often smooth and pearly. You might also notice tiny visible blood vessels inside the tumor itself.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Squamous cell carcinoma leads to a well-defined thickened bump. You may find that this bump becomes red or scaly, and it could also change in size, shape, or appearance.
Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer, and it typically begins in moles. The acronym “ABCDE” (described below) can help you remember the warning signs of melanoma:
- Asymmetry: one side of the lesion looks different than the other side
- Border irregularity: the margins of the tumor may be scalloped or irregular
- Color: the growth contains a mixture of black, tan, brown, or red hues
- Diameter: the growth is larger than the size of a pencil eraser
- Evolution: the mole changes over time
If you notice any abnormal growths or know you have a history of skin cancer, schedule a skin cancer screening at Kaminska Dermatology right away. Dr. Kaminska provides personalized mold mapping services and carefully tracks moles to try to prevent skin cancer and to treat any abnormal issues early on.
How is skin cancer treated?
Treating skin cancer may include a combination of treatments, depending on your diagnosis and the severity of your condition. Dr. Kaminska could recommend:
- Removing the growth through an excision procedure
- Cryosurgery to remove the growth and treat the area with liquid nitrogen
- Electrodesiccation and curettage to remove the tumor and burn surrounding skin
- Mohs micrographic surgery to remove growths that are high-risk or continue returning
Dr. Kaminska can even help you through the process of lymph node removal, radiation, or chemotherapy if your cancer has spread to other areas of your body. She provides compassionate care every step of the way.
"Melanoma is the second most common cancer in women 15 to 29 years old. The AAD's new “Protect Yourselfie” PSA uses social media imagery to remind teenage girls (ages 14-18) that tanning can lead to skin cancer and premature aging, and encourages them to protect their skin from harmful ultraviolet rays."