Squamous cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer, often develops after you get pre cancers like actinic keratosis. At Angel Allen Dermatology in Jefferson City and Lake Ozark, Missouri, Angel Allen, MD, frequently treats pre cancers to stop them from evolving into skin cancer and help you avoid more intensive future treatments. To find out if a suspicious lesion on your body indicates pre cancer, call Angel Allen Dermatology, or book your appointment online today.
Pre cancers are lesions that form on your skin and may eventually develop into skin cancer if you don’t treat them professionally. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer and can spread throughout your body in some instances, becoming life-threatening.
The symptoms of pre cancers vary, and Dr. Allen can help you learn to recognize the signs and check your own skin for them regularly. A precancerous skin lesion may appear:
Precancerous lesions are most likely to show up on areas of skin that get a lot of sun exposure, like your arms, legs, scalp, or face. They don’t always cause symptoms beyond their evolving appearance, but you might experience some itchiness, irritation, or tenderness.
There are a few different types of pre cancers that can affect your skin. Dr. Allen examines the lesion closely and might perform a biopsy to test it for cancerous cells or features of pre cancer underneath a microscope. Then, she describes your diagnosis and answers your questions in detail.
The most common type of pre cancer in dermatology is:
Actinic keratosis is a common type of pre cancer that is directly caused by ultraviolet (UV) light damage to the skin. It’s the most common type of pre cancer and can turn into squamous cell carcinoma if you don’t address the lesion early.
There are several treatment options available for pre cancers, and Dr. Allen helps you choose the most effective one for your case. Though treatments for skin cancer like cryotherapy or laser therapy can destroy pre cancers too, often the most effective option is Blu-U® photodynamic therapy.
Blu-U uses blue light wavelengths to treat actinic keratoses and is particularly effective for lesions on the face or scalp. After applying a topical medication, Dr. Allen uses the blue light to manage your skin damage that has occurred because of pre cancer. This therapy helps prevent cancers like squamous cell carcinoma from developing in the area.
To find out more about actinic keratosis and blue light therapy, call Angel Allen Dermatology, or schedule an appointment online today.