Skin Cancer Specialist Columbia MD Q&A

Skin cancer affects one in five people at some point in their lives. With early detection and treatment at Eternal Dermatology, better outcomes are possible. Our lead physician, Ife J. Rodney, MD, FAAD, is a skin cancer expert with extensive training and experience in diagnosis and treatment. Call the office or book an appointment online today.

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It occurs when unrepaired DNA damage — most often caused by exposure to the sun or tanning beds — triggers mutations in your skin cells that turn into cancerous tumors.

The best way to prevent skin cancer is to avoid exposure to UV radiation. Don’t use tanning beds and wear sunscreen daily. If you’re out in the sun for long periods, reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours and choose clothing that covers your skin, including a hat, long sleeves, and pants.

What are different types of skin cancer?

Skin cancer types are categorized based on the kind of cells they’re made of and their appearance. Anyone can get skin cancer, though it’s most common in people with light skin.

Different types of skin cancer include:

  • Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)

    BCC is the most common type of skin cancer and appears as a flesh-colored, pearl-like bump or pinkish patch of skin.

  • Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)

    SCC, the second most common type of skin cancer appears as a red, firm bump, scaly patch, or sore that partially heals and then reopens.

  • Actinic keratosis (AK)

    AK are dry, scaly patches. About 10% of these pre- cancerous lesions can turn into skin cancer.

  • Melanoma

    Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. It may develop from an existing mole or may appear as a new dark spot on the skin.

There are other less common forms of skin cancer. But overall it’s important to protect your skin from the sun and pay attention to any unusual changes in your skin, especially moles that grow or change in shape or color or new patches of dark skin.

How is skin cancer diagnosed?

You should perform skin checks on yourself often to look for any changes in your skin. During your visit with your dermatologist, she will perform a thorough skin exam of your entire body.

If she notices any areas of concern or you have a suspicious mole, Dr. Rodney further examines that area of skin and may collect a small sample of the lesion for testing. Based on her exam and lab testing, Dr. Rodney determines your diagnosis.

How is skin cancer treated?

Skin cancer is treated based on your diagnosis. There are many options for treatment and Dr. Rodney discusses which choices can best help you. Common treatments include:

  • Excision surgery
  • Curettage and electrodesiccation
  • Mohs surgery
  • Cryosurgery
  • Radiation
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Medicated creams
  • Prescription medications

New treatments and clinical trials are being developed to treat skin cancer and Dr. Rodney stays up-to-date on all of your options.

If you suspect you have skin cancer, call the office or book an appointment online today.



Click here for a list of more medical dermatology conditions that we treat.

acne, botox, fillers, skin checks, rashes, warts, cysts, moles, microneedling, lasers, cosmetic dermatology specialist in Columbia, Howard County MD, DC, Baltimore
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Dr. Ife Rodney is double board-certified, highly rated, and takes a patient-centered and customized approach to care.  She is a top skin cancer dermatologist in the Columbia MD community. Contact us today to learn how Dr. Rodney can help you look and feel your best.

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