Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer Prevention and Treatment in Lafayette, Boulder, & Brighton, CO

Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer, affecting one in five people in the US, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Fortunately, your dermatologist is an expert at diagnosing and treating skin cancer. Skin cancer can be caused by excessive sun exposure and you are at greater risk if you are fair-skinned, have a history of skin cancer, or you don’t wear sunscreen and spend a lot of time out in the sun.

Different Types of Skin Cancer

There are several different types of skin cancer. The three most common types of skin cancer are:

  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Melanoma

Risk Factors for Skin Cancer

You are at greater risk of developing skin cancer if you:

  • Have fair skin and freckles
  • Have light hair and eyes
  • Sunburn easily
  • Spend a lot of time out in the sun
  • Have a family history of skin cancer

Skin Cancer Prevention

The easiest and most important step you can take to prevent skin cancer is to apply sunscreen every day. Your daily sunscreen should be at least SPF 15, or an SPF of at least 30 if you spend a lot of time out in the sun. In addition to applying sunscreen, you should also:

  • Try to avoid being out in the sun during the hours of 10 AM to 4 PM, when damaging ultraviolet rays are the highest
  • Wear sun blocking clothing and accessories, including a hat and sunglasses
  • Examine your skin regularly for suspicious areas

Signs of Skin Cancer and What to Look For

Signs of skin cancer can be subtle, so when you perform a self-check of your skin, you need to look for any moles that have:

  • A diameter larger than 6 millimeters
  • Ragged, poorly defined borders
  • An asymmetrical shape
  • Itching, oozing, or bleeding

Visiting Our Dermatologist

Our dermatologists at Boulder Valley Center for Dermatology will perform a comprehensive skin examination, checking for any skin abnormalities, including abnormal moles. If a suspicious area is found, they may take a tissue sample for biopsy. Our experts can provide quick results, so you can begin rapid treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment results in a better outcome for you.

Treatments for Skin Cancer

If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, our dermatologist offers several treatment options, including:

  • MOHS micrographic surgery, to remove cancerous tissue layer-by-layer, examining each layer under a microscope
  • Radiation therapy, uses radiation to kill cancerous cells
  • Cryosurgery, using uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the lesion
  • Curettage and desiccation, using tools to scrape the cancerous tissue and apply electric current to kill cancerous cells
  • Surgical excision, to cut out the lesion completely
  • Chemotherapy, which may be used in combination with surgery and radiation therapy to treat melanoma

To learn more about prevention, symptoms, and treatment of skin cancer, contact our experts at Boulder Valley Center for Dermatology with offices in Brighton, Lafayette, & Boulder, CO. You can reach our team at (303) 604-1444 to schedule!

No Health Form settings found. Please configure it.

Our Location

Find us on the map