Exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the primary cause for melanoma or skin cancer, and no one is immune to it. With more than 500,000 new diagnoses each year, this makes melanoma the most serious type of skin cancer.
It can change in size, shape, color or even feel. Often seen as a mole, melanomas have black or blue-black centers and are abnormal or unsightly in appearance.
Protection and early detection are more vital now than ever to help combat skin cancer.
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Melanoma can be found on any part of the body but 80 percent appear on the face, head or neck area. Sunscreen and protective clothing can help prevent you from this disease, but Dr. Bishop and his team of surgical experts can help you detect and treat skin cancer in the most effective ways possible.
There is a common rule of thumb to remember to help you detect early signs of melanoma known as the “ABCDE” method.
- Asymmetry: one side does not match the other
- Border: the edges are irregular
- Color: uneven tone in shades of black, blue or tan
- Diameter: an increase in size
- Evolving: dramatic change as seen within a week or month
Most treatments to remove cancerous lesions can be conducted under local or general anesthesia. Small lesions are removed with excision while large lesions may require some reconstruction surgery. Dr. Bishop can go over in detail with you what your specific case requires during your consultation. Incision sites may be sore, red or drain small amounts of fluid. Be sure to closely follow the care instructions that Dr. Bishop provides to you. Healing will continue for weeks and even months after your surgery and incision lines will fade and continue to improve. Sun exposure on wounds and scar lines can result in irregular pigmentation or cause the sight to become red, raised or dark.
Practicing sun protection after you have fully healed will help prevent future development of skin cancer.
DIAGNOSED WITH MELANOMA? DR. BISHOP CAN HELP.
“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2010 our decision was to have a mastectomy. My surgeon referred me to Dr. Jon Bishop. I was a little nervous, but my very first visit I knew I had made the right choice to have Dr. Bishop as my plastic surgeon. Immediately I felt at ease. My reconstruction surgery has went very well. My husband and I view Dr. Bishop and his staff not only as a wonderful team, but also wonderful and compassionate people. We now consider them all as good friends fighting for the same cause.” -Geri