Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA2022-11-17T17:51:32-05:00

Screenings are vital.

No one wants a skin cancer diagnosis, although it is the most common type of cancer in the world. Most people get skin cancer from exposure to too much ultraviolet light, sun or and tanning beds. Skin cancer is highly curable if it is treated early.

Screenings are vital.

No one wants a skin cancer diagnosis, although it is the most common type of cancer in the world. Most people get skin cancer from exposure to too much ultraviolet light, sun or and tanning beds. Skin cancer is highly curable if it is treated early.

From all of us at MetroDerm, we wish you the best in 2023.

PROTECT YOURSELF

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

Please use the ABCDE guide and contact our office if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • Sores that do not heal
  • Changes in skin texture or color
  • A crater-like lesion (ulcer) on the skin that may not hurt
  • Change in color, shape, or thickness of a mole
  • Skin bleeding, itching or pain

If you need instructions for post-operative wound care for biopsies, click the button below.

Everyone should be educated on suspicious looking moles using the ABCDE skin cancer guide below. Even if you have carefully practiced sun safety during the summer months, it’s important to continue being vigilant about your skin in the other seasons as well. Throughout the year, you should examine your skin head-to-toe once a month, looking for any suspicious lesions. Self-exams can help identify potential skin cancer early when they can almost always be completely cured.

First, for a successful self-exam, you obviously need to know what you’re looking for. As a general rule, to spot either melanomas or non-melanoma skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, take note of any new moles or growths, and any existing growths that begin to grow or change significantly in any other way. Lesions that change, itch, bleed, or don’t heal are also alarm signals.

It is so vital to catch melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, early that physicians developed a strategy for early recognition of the disease.

Moles, brown spots and growths on the skin are usually harmless — but not always. Anyone who has more than 100 moles is at greater risk for melanoma. The first signs can appear in one or more atypical moles. That’s why it’s so important to get to know your skin very well and to recognize any changes in the moles on your body. Look for the ABCDE signs of melanoma, and if you see one or more, make an appointment with a physician immediately.

This guide is not a replacement for an annual mole check visit to MetroDerm. Skin cancer is treatable if caught in the early stages. Call for an appointment today.

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

A: Asymmetry

This benign mole is not asymmetrical. If you draw a line through the middle, the two sides will match, meaning it is symmetrical. If you draw a line through this mole, the two halves will not match, meaning it is asymmetrical, a warning sign for melanoma.

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

B: Border

A benign mole has smooth, even borders, unlike melanomas. The borders of an early melanoma tend to be uneven. The edges may be irregular, scalloped or notched. Because cancer symptoms may vary—and not all melanomas develop from moles—discuss any new or unusual skin growths with your doctor.

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

C: Color

Most benign moles are all one color — often a single shade of brown. Having a variety of colors is another warning signal. A number of different shades of brown, tan or black could appear. A melanoma may also become red, white or blue.

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

D: Diameter

Benign moles usually have a smaller diameter than malignant ones. Melanomas usually are larger in diameter than the eraser on your pencil tip (¼ inch or 6mm), but they may sometimes be smaller when first detected.

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

E: Evolving

Common, benign moles look the same over time. Be on the alert when a mole starts to evolve or change in any way. When a mole is evolving, see your dermatologist. Any change — in size, shape, color, elevation, or another trait, or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting — points to danger.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It most often occurs in places on the body that receive excessive sun exposure including the face, head, and neck. Basal cell carcinoma usually occurs in middle-aged and elderly people, especially those who are fair-skinned. It develops slowly and causes a lump or a small, painless, smooth-edged ulcer. A classic presentation is a pink non-healing pimple-like lesion lasting more than one to two months. Basal cell carcinoma has a rare risk of spreading to other parts of the body and has an excellent cure rate when treated promptly.

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

Squamous cell carcinoma also results from too much sun exposure. In addition, pipe and cigar smoking can cause this type of cancer to appear on the lip. However, it may occur anywhere on the body and appears as an enlarging skin ulcer or pink, inflamed wart-like lesion. Squamous cell carcinoma can spread to lymph nodes in advanced cases (less than 5% of cases). Like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma has an excellent cure rate when treated promptly.

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

A melanoma usually presents as a new, odd-looking mole (two out of every three cases), but can develop from an existing benign mole (one out of every three cases). Melanoma is not as common as the other two types of skin cancer, but it is far more serious and early detection is critical for successful treatment. Melanoma is a skin cancer that can metastasize, or spread from one part of the body to another. The risk of metastasis correlates to the depth of the melanoma. So again, early detection through skin cancer screening and self-examination are key.

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

When caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable. Here are some important statistics:

  • More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
  • Actinic keratosis is the most common precancer; it affects more than 58 million Americans.
  • One person dies of melanoma every hour.
  • An estimated 178,560 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2018. Of those, 87,290 cases will be in situ (noninvasive), confined to the epidermis (the top layer of skin), and 91,270 cases will be invasive, penetrating the epidermis into the skin’s second layer (the dermis).
  • An estimated 9,320 people will die of melanoma in 2018: of those, 5,990 will be men and 3,330 will be women.
  • The vast majority of melanomas are caused by the sun. In fact, one UK study found that about 86% of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
  • Compared with stage I melanoma patients treated within 30 days of being biopsied, those treated 30 to 59 days after biopsy have a 5% higher risk of dying from the disease, and those treated more than 119 days after biopsy have a 41%  higher risk.
  • The estimated five-year survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early is about 99% in the U.S. The survival rate falls to 63% when the disease reaches the lymph nodes and 20% when the disease metastasizes to distant organs.

Daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40%.1Download the AAD’s body mole map for information on how to check your skin for the signs of skin cancer. Keep track of the spots on your skin and make note of any changes from year-to-year.  If you notice a mole that is different from others, or that changes, itches or bleeds, you should make an appointment to see one of our board-certified dermatologists.

Q: How does skin cancer occur?

A: The most common and easily preventable cause of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light (sunlight or tanning beds). Genetic (hereditary) factors also play a part in the tendency to develop skin cancer.

Q: How is skin cancer diagnosed?

A: Your physician diagnoses skin cancer by:

  • Asking about your symptoms and medical hicompletelystory and whether the affected area of skin has changed in any way
  • Performing a small biopsy (removing a small piece of tissue for microscopic analysis) or an excisional biopsy (removing the entire growth) for analysis if suspicious areas are present.

Q: How is skin cancer treated?

A: The treatment for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma is the removal of the growth using one or more of the following procedures. The choice of treatment depends on the type of cancer and its size and position on the skin.

Procedures include:

  • Electrodessication and curettage (scrape and burn technique): scraping away of the cancer and then cauterizing (electrically burning) the surrounding area
  • Excision: cutting out the affected area and closing the wound with sutures (stitches)
  • Performing Mohs micrographic surgery: a method of removing and analyzing layers of the growth and surrounding skin
  • Freezing the affected area using liquid nitrogen

Skin cancer that is untreated or only partially treated may result in a more aggressive cancer.

Q: What should I do if I notice something that looks strange or new on my skin?

A: See your health care provider at the first sign of anything suspicious forming on your skin. Skin cancer will not go away on its own; and, if left untreated, some types may spread to other areas of the body. Specifically, aggressive squamous cell carcinomas and thicker melanomas can spread to lymph nodes and internal organs where they may cause additional health problems.

Q: How can I help prevent skin cancer?

A: The best way to prevent skin cancer is to exercise caution when you are in the sun. Most of us get our damaging ultraviolet exposure during our first 10-20 years of life, so teach your kids early! Here are a few specific tips from the American Academy of Dermatology and our practice:

  • Seek shade when appropriate: Remember that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If your shadow appears to be shorter than you are, seek shade.
  • Wear protective clothing: Long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, when possible.
  • Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen: Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more to all exposed skin. “Broad-spectrum” provides protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Reapply approximately every 1 1/2 to 2 hours, even on cloudy days and after swimming or sweating. If you are allergic to PABA, use PABA-free sunscreen lotions.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand: They reflect and intensify the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chances of sunburn. Remember that UV rays from the sun can penetrate clouds and cause sunburn or damage even on cloudy days.
  • Avoid tanning beds: Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look tan, consider using a self-tanning product but continue to use sunscreen with it.

If you feel you are at high risk because of previous or ongoing sun exposure, see your healthcare provider for a baseline skin exam. We also encourage patients to perform regular exams on themselves at home. You can learn how to perform a self-exam at home by watching the video on this page.

If you have a history of sun-related skin changes, such as actinic or solar keratosis, see your health care provider regularly on a schedule he or she recommends.

if you have previously had skin cancer, you are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer again. Skin cancers may recur in the same location. Your healthcare

provider will want to examine you at three or six-month intervals. Also, see your provider if you discover any new changes on your skin.

For more information about skin cancer, we recommend the following resources.

How to Check Your Skin for Skin Cancer

PROTECT YOURSELF

Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

Please use the ABCDE guide and contact our office if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • Sores that do not heal
  • Changes in skin texture or color
  • A crater-like lesion (ulcer) on the skin that may not hurt
  • Change in color, shape, or thickness of a mole
  • Skin bleeding, itching or pain

If you need instructions for post-operative wound care for biopsies, click the button below.

Everyone should be educated on suspicious looking moles using the ABCDE skin cancer guide below. Even if you have carefully practiced sun safety during the summer months, it’s important to continue being vigilant about your skin in the other seasons as well. Throughout the year, you should examine your skin head-to-toe once a month, looking for any suspicious lesions. Self-exams can help identify potential skin cancer early when they can almost always be completely cured.

First, for a successful self-exam, you obviously need to know what you’re looking for. As a general rule, to spot either melanomas or non-melanoma skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, take note of any new moles or growths, and any existing growths that begin to grow or change significantly in any other way. Lesions that change, itch, bleed, or don’t heal are also alarm signals.

It is so vital to catch melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, early that physicians developed a strategy for early recognition of the disease.

Moles, brown spots and growths on the skin are usually harmless — but not always. Anyone who has more than 100 moles is at greater risk for melanoma. The first signs can appear in one or more atypical moles. That’s why it’s so important to get to know your skin very well and to recognize any changes in the moles on your body. Look for the ABCDE signs of melanoma, and if you see one or more, make an appointment with a physician immediately.

This guide is not a replacement for an annual mole check visit to MetroDerm. Skin cancer is treatable if caught in the early stages. Call for an appointment today.

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

A: Asymmetry

This benign mole is not asymmetrical. If you draw a line through the middle, the two sides will match, meaning it is symmetrical. If you draw a line through this mole, the two halves will not match, meaning it is asymmetrical, a warning sign for melanoma.

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

B: Border

A benign mole has smooth, even borders, unlike melanomas. The borders of an early melanoma tend to be uneven. The edges may be irregular, scalloped or notched. Because cancer symptoms may vary—and not all melanomas develop from moles—discuss any new or unusual skin growths with your doctor.

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

C: Color

Most benign moles are all one color — often a single shade of brown. Having a variety of colors is another warning signal. A number of different shades of brown, tan or black could appear. A melanoma may also become red, white or blue.

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

D: Diameter

Benign moles usually have a smaller diameter than malignant ones. Melanomas usually are larger in diameter than the eraser on your pencil tip (¼ inch or 6mm), but they may sometimes be smaller when first detected.

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

E: Evolving

Common, benign moles look the same over time. Be on the alert when a mole starts to evolve or change in any way. When a mole is evolving, see your dermatologist. Any change — in size, shape, color, elevation, or another trait, or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting — points to danger.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It most often occurs in places on the body that receive excessive sun exposure including the face, head, and neck. Basal cell carcinoma usually occurs in middle-aged and elderly people, especially those who are fair-skinned. It develops slowly and causes a lump or a small, painless, smooth-edged ulcer. A classic presentation is a pink non-healing pimple-like lesion lasting more than one to two months. Basal cell carcinoma has a rare risk of spreading to other parts of the body and has an excellent cure rate when treated promptly.

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

Squamous cell carcinoma also results from too much sun exposure. In addition, pipe and cigar smoking can cause this type of cancer to appear on the lip. However, it may occur anywhere on the body and appears as an enlarging skin ulcer or pink, inflamed wart-like lesion. Squamous cell carcinoma can spread to lymph nodes in advanced cases (less than 5% of cases). Like basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma has an excellent cure rate when treated promptly.

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

A melanoma usually presents as a new, odd-looking mole (two out of every three cases), but can develop from an existing benign mole (one out of every three cases). Melanoma is not as common as the other two types of skin cancer, but it is far more serious and early detection is critical for successful treatment. Melanoma is a skin cancer that can metastasize, or spread from one part of the body to another. The risk of metastasis correlates to the depth of the melanoma. So again, early detection through skin cancer screening and self-examination are key.

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

When caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable. Here are some important statistics:

  • More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
  • Actinic keratosis is the most common precancer; it affects more than 58 million Americans.
  • One person dies of melanoma every hour.
  • An estimated 178,560 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2018. Of those, 87,290 cases will be in situ (noninvasive), confined to the epidermis (the top layer of skin), and 91,270 cases will be invasive, penetrating the epidermis into the skin’s second layer (the dermis).
  • An estimated 9,320 people will die of melanoma in 2018: of those, 5,990 will be men and 3,330 will be women.
  • The vast majority of melanomas are caused by the sun. In fact, one UK study found that about 86% of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
  • Compared with stage I melanoma patients treated within 30 days of being biopsied, those treated 30 to 59 days after biopsy have a 5% higher risk of dying from the disease, and those treated more than 119 days after biopsy have a 41%  higher risk.
  • The estimated five-year survival rate for patients whose melanoma is detected early is about 99% in the U.S. The survival rate falls to 63% when the disease reaches the lymph nodes and 20% when the disease metastasizes to distant organs.

Daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40%.1Download the AAD’s body mole map for information on how to check your skin for the signs of skin cancer. Keep track of the spots on your skin and make note of any changes from year-to-year.  If you notice a mole that is different from others, or that changes, itches or bleeds, you should make an appointment to see one of our board-certified dermatologists.

Q: How does skin cancer occur?

A: The most common and easily preventable cause of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light (sunlight or tanning beds). Genetic (hereditary) factors also play a part in the tendency to develop skin cancer.

Q: How is skin cancer diagnosed?

A: Your physician diagnoses skin cancer by:

  • Asking about your symptoms and medical hicompletelystory and whether the affected area of skin has changed in any way
  • Performing a small biopsy (removing a small piece of tissue for microscopic analysis) or an excisional biopsy (removing the entire growth) for analysis if suspicious areas are present.

Q: How is skin cancer treated?

A: The treatment for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma is the removal of the growth using one or more of the following procedures. The choice of treatment depends on the type of cancer and its size and position on the skin.

Procedures include:

  • Electrodessication and curettage (scrape and burn technique): scraping away of the cancer and then cauterizing (electrically burning) the surrounding area
  • Excision: cutting out the affected area and closing the wound with sutures (stitches)
  • Performing Mohs micrographic surgery: a method of removing and analyzing layers of the growth and surrounding skin
  • Freezing the affected area using liquid nitrogen

Skin cancer that is untreated or only partially treated may result in a more aggressive cancer.

Q: What should I do if I notice something that looks strange or new on my skin?

A: See your health care provider at the first sign of anything suspicious forming on your skin. Skin cancer will not go away on its own; and, if left untreated, some types may spread to other areas of the body. Specifically, aggressive squamous cell carcinomas and thicker melanomas can spread to lymph nodes and internal organs where they may cause additional health problems.

Q: How can I help prevent skin cancer?

A: The best way to prevent skin cancer is to exercise caution when you are in the sun. Most of us get our damaging ultraviolet exposure during our first 10-20 years of life, so teach your kids early! Here are a few specific tips from the American Academy of Dermatology and our practice:

  • Seek shade when appropriate: Remember that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. If your shadow appears to be shorter than you are, seek shade.
  • Wear protective clothing: Long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, when possible.
  • Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen: Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more to all exposed skin. “Broad-spectrum” provides protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Reapply approximately every 1 1/2 to 2 hours, even on cloudy days and after swimming or sweating. If you are allergic to PABA, use PABA-free sunscreen lotions.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand: They reflect and intensify the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chances of sunburn. Remember that UV rays from the sun can penetrate clouds and cause sunburn or damage even on cloudy days.
  • Avoid tanning beds: Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look tan, consider using a self-tanning product but continue to use sunscreen with it.

If you feel you are at high risk because of previous or ongoing sun exposure, see your healthcare provider for a baseline skin exam. We also encourage patients to perform regular exams on themselves at home. You can learn how to perform a self-exam at home by watching the video on this page.

If you have a history of sun-related skin changes, such as actinic or solar keratosis, see your health care provider regularly on a schedule he or she recommends.

if you have previously had skin cancer, you are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer again. Skin cancers may recur in the same location. Your healthcare

provider will want to examine you at three or six-month intervals. Also, see your provider if you discover any new changes on your skin.

For more information about skin cancer, we recommend the following resources.

How to Check Your Skin for Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

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Skin Cancer Atlanta, GA, MetroDerm, PC

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“Came very highly recommended by friends and also fellow nurses who have worked with him. I was very pleased with the consultation, and I’m very excited to have him do my surgery.”

Jigana P.
“Dr. Nahai is a great surgeon. He did a great job of repairing a Mohs surgery scar on my lower lip.It was life-changing! Thanks, Dr. Nahai.”
Dan B.
“Dr. Nahai is an incredibly talented physician. He takes time to listen to you and answer all questions. His goal is your complete satisfaction, and he takes pride in achieving that. He and his staff are efficient, kind, and professional. His follow-up care is also outstanding. I highly recommend him!”
Marsha H.
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Charlene M.
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Melinda L.
“Dr. Nahai is the best. I have gone to him for many years, since needing a facial scar revision in the mid-2000s, for a multitude of cosmetic issues. I highly recommend his skill, talent, creativity, and warm personality. I always leave the office feeling that my questions have been answered and concerns taken care of. And looking great, of course!”
Tracy D.
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