How your dermatologist in Bend, OR, can diagnose and treat skin cancer
Spending time in the sun is great. You may not be thinking much about skin cancer, but you should. There are important ways to protect your skin against the sun’s damaging UV rays. There are also important signs to look out for. Your dermatologist can help.
Dr. Gerald Peters at Peters Dermatology Center in Bend, OR, offers a wide range of dermatology services, including diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer.
First, let’s look at ways to prevent skin cancer. Remember to:
- Avoid using tanning booths
- Use an SPF of at least 15 every day
- Use an SPF of at least 30 if you plan on being outside for an extended period
- Try to stay out of direct sunlight between 10 AM to 4 PM, when UV rays are the most damaging
- Always wear protective clothing, including a hat and sunglasses
Next, you need to perform regular self-checks of your skin. Check for scaly patches of skin and moles that have:
- A diameter of 6 millimeters or larger
- Irregular, poorly defined, or ragged borders
- An asymmetrical shape or abnormal color
- Regrown after the previous removal
- Itchy or bleeding areas
After doing a self-check, if you notice any of the signs listed above, it’s time for a visit with your dermatologist. Routine visits with your dermatologist at least once each year are important, especially if you have fair skin, a history of skin cancer, or a family history of skin cancer.
There are several ways your dermatologist can treat skin cancer, including:
- Cryosurgery, to freeze the lesion with liquid nitrogen
- Curettage and desiccation, to scrape and apply electric current to the lesion
- Mohs micrographic surgery, to remove and examine the lesion one layer at a time
- Radiation therapy, using radiation to kill the cancerous cells
- Surgical excision, to remove the lesion completely
- Chemotherapy, often used in combination with surgery and radiation
Early treatment of skin cancer is the key to the best outcome. To learn more about the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of skin cancer, call Dr. Gerald Peters of Peters Dermatology Center in Bend, OR, at (541) 323-7546. Call now!