We do see a lot of different types of skin cancers in our practice. the statistics, in fact, show that 1 in 5 or 1 in 6 Canadians, in their lifetime, will develop a form of a skin cancer. What we’ll frequently see, number one, is actinic keratosis, which are precancerous type of spots and they usually are rough red areas that we typically see in a sun exposed area such as the face, and the hands most classically, and the reason we care about themwe want to diagnose and treat them is that they can progress to become full blown thick skin cancers which can potentially progress.
The other type of skin cancer that we see is called basal cell skin cancer. Usually we see a spot, typically on the face, it can also be on the chest, on the hands that just persist, it usually almost looks like a pimple that doesn’t heal, bleeds, often for a long time, and it can really grow and it can become locally invasive, so we want to diagnose it and treat it appropriately. We also do see a lot of forms of skin cancer called Squamous Cell Carcinoma, and the actinic keratosis lesion is what is a precursor to this Squamous Cell Carcinoma,.
And then finally, the big one that’s not to be missed is melanoma. Melanoma is a potentially deadly form of skin cancer and when we counsel patients about melanoma, we often talk about moles and the ABCDEs of melanoma. Asymmetric moles are more concerning for melanoma and we should pay more attention to them. B, so borders. So moles with irregular or jagged borders again, are of more concern. Color; that’s an important one. The mole that has different color within the same mole.