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Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer

Doctor looking at woman's shoulderOne of the major causes of skin cancer is excessive exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Skin abnormalities that can develop over time include actinic keratosis (AK) and benign growths, such as skin tags, moles, and cysts. In some instances, these skin concerns can become cancerous.

AKs appear as scaly, rough sections on the skin that can grow in size. Though originally benign, these lesions can progress to squamous cell carcinoma, which is the second most common skin cancer. Since there is no way to tell if an AK will become cancerous, our doctors stress the importance of getting the lesions removed.

Skin with possible skin cancer | North Vancouver Skin Cancer Treatment | Afterglow ClinicIn addition to AKs, skin cancer can manifest in the form of moles, skin tags, and cysts. Though these growths are often harmless, you should be familiar with any skin texture abnormalities like these, so you can recognize if their appearance changes – which can be a sign that something is wrong. Should you notice the size, shape, or colour of these growths altering, please contact your family physician and request a referral to one of our doctors so they can determine whether it is benign or potentially malignant.

What We Can Do for Your Skin Cancer

We offer skin cancer treatments that could save your life. By removing abnormal skin growths, you can potentially prevent cancer from developing or worsening. Please follow the link below for more information on our advanced skin cancer treatment:

Fotofinder® Mole Mapping

The Fotofinder® Mole Mapping computerized software system allows Dr. Ebrahim to create a photographic record of all moles on your skin and then compare the images during future visits to find any new or changed moles.

Learn More About Skin Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Skin cancer affects millions of people every year. To help you combat this serious skin condition, we have provided answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about skin cancer. If you would like to learn more, schedule a consultation, or discuss your concerns with our doctors, please contact us.

What are the most common types of skin cancer? + -

The most common skin cancer is called basal cell carcinoma, the second most common is squamous cell carcinoma, and the third most common (though the most severe) is melanoma. Each one can present a little bit differently, and treatment will vary for each one. While basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are rarely fatal, it’s important to receive treatment so that they do not worsen and become more serious concerns.

What are some risk factors for skin cancer? + -

People who are most at risk of developing skin cancer are those who have lots (dozens or hundreds) of freckles, those who sunburn easily or who had severe sunburns as children, have a history of skin cancer, have light skin, or have light eyes. Young people who frequent tanning salons also present more often with skin cancer, and you should avoid tanning beds to help prevent the likelihood of damaging your skin and causing skin cancer down the line.

Can I get skin cancer anywhere on my body? + -

Yes. However, many types of skin cancer, like basal cell carcinoma, typically develop in areas the sun often touches, such as the face, scalp, ears, arms, hands, and feet. In rare cases, basal cell carcinomas can spread to other areas. Squamous cell carcinoma also often shows up in areas of high sun exposure, and can also spread if left untreated. Melanomas, on the other hand, can show up anywhere and can spread quickly throughout the body.

How can I help prevent skin cancer from developing? + -

Fortunately, there are many ways to help reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. Simple protections like staying out of direct sunlight, wearing broad spectrum sunscreen when in sunshine and wearing sunscreen daily on your face, wearing sunglasses and protective clothing, and avoiding tanning beds can help you limit your risk. We also recommend visiting a skin care professional yearly to evaluate changes in the skin.

For more information about the treatments for skin cancer, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with our doctors, or call us at (604) 980-3993.

Have any questions?

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