Avera Medical Minute: What does skin cancer look like?

Updated: Sep. 28, 2023 at 5:20 PM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Abnormalities on your skin could be cancerous, but can be treated if caught early. That is why doctors implore you to schedule an appointment if some of those concerns surface. What exactly does an abnormality look like that qualifies as skin cancer? They are areas that are bleeding, changing, or not healing on their own within 2-4 weeks.

If there is an indication of skin cancer, a dermatologist would look into a skin biopsy which helps determine if a spot is benign or cancerous. According to Dr. Wesley Fletcher, that biopsy can be done relatively easily and provides a course of action. “Skin cancer especially in central South Dakota, is very common,” Dr. Fletcher said. “We see it very often in our practice in central South Dakota. We see both melanoma skin cancer and non-melanoma.” Preventative measures include covering your body from the sun and using sunscreen, knowing your family history also helps to pinpoint the absence or presence of skin cancer.