When asked what the most common type of cancer is, most people guess breast or lung cancer. But the leading cause of cancer is actually skin cancer. However, the good news is that with early detection and treatment, skin cancer is often very curable.

The physicians at Premier Surgical Associates in Knoxville recognize how crucial it is to encourage everyone in East Tennessee to educate themselves, and have created a special webpage about melanoma and other skin cancers. Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells, often occurring on sun-damaged skin. There are three main types of skin cancer—basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma, with melanoma being the most aggressive and deadly form.

The new webpage is located in the Surgical Specialties section of Premier Surgical’s website and provides information on the risk factors for skin cancer and the most common types of surgery to remove skin cancers. Links, such as to the National Cancer Institute, provide further information on what you need to know about melanoma.

Perhaps most importantly, Premier Surgical encourages everyone to learn the “ABCDE” method of self examination for potentially problematic moles or lesions.

A – Asymmetry: The two halves of the mole do not match.

B – Border: The edges are uneven, ragged or blurred.

C – Color: Harmless moles are one color, often brown. Different shades of tan, black, or even pink, purples or white colors can indicate cancer.

D – Diameter: If a mole is larger in diameter than ¼ inch (the size of a pencil eraser), and especially if it is growing, it should be evaluated.

E – Evolving: Be on the alert when a mole starts to change in any way – size, shape, color, or symptoms such as bleeding, itching or crusting.

When it comes to skin cancer, awareness saves lives. Visit the Premier Surgical Associates Melanoma and Skin Cancers webpage so that you can protect yourself, and your loved ones. It never hurts to have a suspicious spot or mole checked out—early detection is key to the removal of non-malignant skin cancers before they become problematic, and to successful treatment of malignant melanomas.

Premier Surgical Associates is the largest General and Vascular surgical group in the Knoxville region—providing comprehensive surgical care for skin cancer and other specialties—with referrals from across the entire East Tennessee region. To learn more about our physicians and specialties, visit Premier Surgical Associates online.