As a board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Sejal Shah provides the skilled and experienced care required to help patients prevent, detect and treat skin cancer.
According to current estimates, one in five people in the United States will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. In fact, close to ten thousand cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each day. While these statistics seem alarmingly high, some simple steps and precautions can be taken to help reduce one's risk for skin cancer as well as allow for early detection to support the best outcomes of care.
Because exposure to UV light is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone take measures to protect themselves from the harmful rays of the sun. Simply wearing protective clothing and using a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, avoiding indoor tanning beds, and seeking shady spots as possible when outside, helps to decrease the likelihood of developing skin cancer. Since severe sunburns in children may also increase the risk of melanoma, it's essential to take extra care to protect children from prolonged and intense sun exposure.
As a general rule, it's a good idea for everyone to perform periodic self-exams to check for signs of any suspicious skin spots, changes, or lesions that may be indicative of a problem and contact our office if any of these issues are detected. Remember to be especially mindful of the appearance of any new moles or changes to existing moles. Almost 50% of melanomas are self-detected. However, in addition to self-checks, annual skin cancer screenings as performed by a board-certified dermatologist are absolutely essential in order to completely and thoroughly assess the entire body for any signs of suspicious pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions. Frequent screenings are especially important for patients who have been previously treated for skin cancer. At SmarterSkin Dermatology, Dr. Sejal Shah is trained and experienced in the detection, diagnosis, and management of all types of benign skin growths, pre-cancerous lesions and forms of skin cancer.
To perform a skin cancer screening, Dr. Shah will do a complete head-to-toe exam, while making a note of any spots that require monitoring, a closer examination, or a biopsy. Specialized technology may be employed to illuminate and/or magnify moles or lesions to get a better look. The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, with the first two types found predominantly in areas that receive a lot of sun exposure. If during the course of a screening a suspicious mole or lesion is detected, a biopsy may be recommended. Depending upon the outcome of the biopsy, we'll recommend the best course of care. Recommendations may include a surgical excision along with other medical therapy to safely and effectively treat the skin cancer.