What is that? Could it be Skin Cancer?
There’s an old movie from the 80’s called Fletch where Chevy Chase is famously pretending to be a physician talking about skin cancer: “They said he had a melanoma, carcinoma, some kind of noma.” While that’s funny for a movie, hearing those words in real life can knock you off your feet. The fact is, there is just nothing funny about skin cancer – it’s deadly serious.
The difficult thing for most people is that you just might not notice it. It might be an irregular spot on the middle of your back and unless you’re inspecting it monthly with a mirror, the changes might be easily missed. That’s why a regular skin cancer screening is so important.
Paige Beverly, PA-C is a dermatology specialist with the Skin Surgery Center of Oklahoma. She says that most patients she sees are simply unsure about what they should be looking for every month and that most might miss something if they haven’t had a discussion with a professional.
“Some patients come to us and point to a spot on their shoulder that looks suspicious. It might look like a blister and be itchy so they immediately recognize that it is not a normal skin condition. Most of the time, however, it is just not that easy. I routinely see patients who tell me that they might not recognize a skin problem if they had one. That’s when we spend some time talking about the warning signs and talk about the ABCDE’s of skincare,” says Paige.
The ABCDE’s she is referring to is the guide dermatologists use to evaluate skin abnormalities: A =
A – Asymmetry. One half is unlike the other half.
B – Border. An irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.
C – Color. Is varied from one area to another; has shades of tan, brown or black, or is sometimes white, red, or blue.
D – Diameter. Melanomas are usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, but they can be smaller.
E – Evolving. A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.
What should you do if you see something suspicious?
“Any time you see something you are not sure about you should give us a call. We have appointments set aside so that we can get you in quickly so that you don’t have to worry about it any longer than necessary. Our goal is to get you in the very same week that you see something that you are concerned about,” explained Paige.
You can reach Paige Beverly for an appointment by calling the Skin Surgery Center of Oklahoma and requesting a skin evaluation. 405-947-6647
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Dr. Brandon Rhinehart and the team at Skin Surgery Center of Oklahoma are dedicated to providing the highest level of skin cancer care for Oklahoma City, Edmond, Norman and surrounding communities.