Skin Cancer Detection

Skin cancer detection and treatment is a regular part of Dr. Matarasso’s practice. Skin cancer is the development and growth of abnormal skin cells. There are three different types of skin cancer:

  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Melanoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer and is the easiest to treat. It affects the cells in the top layers of the skin and does not spread to other parts of the body.

Squamous cell carcinoma is also usually easy to treat and affects the cells in the middle layer of the skin. It also does not spread to other parts of the body.

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer because it tends to spread and can affect the organs of the body. It can be fatal in some cases, although if caught early, it is also often treatable.

Risk factors for developing skin cancer include:

  • Overexposure to the sun, even in the past in some cases
  • Fair skin
  • A family history of skin cancer
  • Age – People 40 and over are more likely to develop skin cancer

Protect Yourself From Skin Cancer

We recommend that you examine your skin all over your body every month – even if you believe you are very careful about sun exposure. While most spots are nothing to worry about, it is important to catch skin cancer early, particularly melanoma.

Pay close attention to any spots on the skin that refuse to heal, begin to bleed, remain itchy, or stand out as different in appearance from other moles or spots. If you see any changes in the appearance of moles or any spots that you have not noticed before, you should make an appointment for a skin cancer detection appointment with Dr. Matarasso.

Reduce your risk of developing skin cancer by following these guidelines:

  • Avoid sun exposure after 10:00 a.m. and before 4:00 p.m.
  • Do not forget to cover the tops of your ears with sun block.
  • Be careful to avoid sun burns.
  • Make sure the sun block you use contains SPF15 or higher for both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Do not frequent tanning booths, as you can develop skin cancer from these as well.
  • Reapply sun block every two hours.

Your Skin Cancer Detection Appointment

Dr. Matarasso will do a full body examination of your skin to look for any potential abnormalities. If you have noticed any spots, be sure to point them out to him. If there are any suspicious moles or lesions, a biopsy will be taken. In a biopsy, a small amount of tissue from the area is removed so that it can be examined under a microscope for cancer cells.

If skin cancer is present, Mohs surgery may be recommended to remove the cancerous cells. This technique allows the surgeon to remove all cancer cells in one visit while leaving healthy cells intact. Read more about Mohs surgery.

Skin Cancer Detection is an important part of your health care regimen to make sure that any skin cancer is found and treated early.

Contact our office at (415) 362-2238 to schedule Skin Cancer Detection in San Francisco.