Skin Problems
 
Skin Cancer Screening

» Precancerous Skin Growths
1. WHAT IS AN ATYPICAL MOLE?

Atypical mole, also called dysplastic mole, differs from common mole by having one or more of the following:
  • Asymmetry
  • Irregular border
  • Has more than one colour
  • Larger than 6mm in diameter
Schedule a skin examination with Dr Joyce Lim, a dermatologist, if you think you may have a dysplastic mole

2. WHAT IS ACTINIC KERATOSIS?

People with sun damaged skin will have multiple precancerous skin growths, called actinic keratoses. They appear as scaly red or brown patches, usually on the sun exposed areas of the face, scalp, upper chest, back and forearms. They are usually better felt than seen. If left untreated they can go on to develop skin cancers.

Schedule a skin examination with Dr Joyce Lim if you have a skin lesion that does not go away with creams or if you think you may have actinic keratosis

3. WHAT ARE THE TREATMENTS FOR PRECANCEROUS GROWTHS?

Dr Joyce Lim will have to examine the growths under a dermatoscope to determine if it is a precancerous growth or not. She may remove it by cryosurgery, laser treatment or surgery. A biopsy may be needed to determine the type of cancerous growth.

» Skin Cancers
As a dermatologist trained in skin surgery, Dr Joyce Lim is familiar with the different types of skin cancers and precancerous growth.

1. WHAT IS THE SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA(SCC)?

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) presents as a firm irregular fleshy growth usually on the sun exposed skin. The growth can increase rapidly in size giving rise to a large growth which may sometimes break down to form an ulcer. If untreated, the cancer may spread to the surrounding lymph glands. SCC usually appears in elderly patients and chronic sun exposure is an important contributing factor in the development of this type of skin cancer.

2. WHAT IS THE BASAL CELL CARCINOMA(BCC)?

Basal Cell carcinoma presents as a slow growing painless growth. It is often seen as an indolent ulcer with a shiny or translucent raised margin, often seen on the face. The ulcer is often pigmented and may resembles a melanoma

3. WHAT IS THE MALIGNANT MELANOMA(MM)?

Malignant melanoma or cancerous mole is a highly malignant skin cancer that arises from the pigment cells of the skin. It presents as dark brown or black skin growth or ulcer but may look like ordinary moles. But they differ from common mole by:
  • Melanoma grows rapidly
  • The surface has several shades of red, black or blue colours
  • The margin is irregular
  • Melanoma tends to be large and thick
Fortunately melanoma is uncommon among Asians. When they do occur they are commonly seen on the fingers, toes and face.

4. WHAT IS THE ABCD SIGNS OF CHANGING MOLES?

The ABCD signs stands for Asymmetry, Borders, Colour and Diameter. Suspect cancerous change in your moles if you have any of these signs and see Dr Joyce Lim, a dermatologist early for a skin cancer check
  • Asymmetry -the two halves of the growth is asymmetrical
  • Borders - the borders are jagged and no longer smooth
  • Colour - the growth becomes red or purple
  • Diameter - there is a sudden increase in size
5. WHAT TREATMENTS CAN DR JOYCE LIM OFFER FOR SKIN CANCER?

Dr Joyce Lim will remove the entire growth and sent it for histology to confirm that the entire growth has been completely removed. Total surgical removal is still the treatment of choice. Sometimes photodynamic therapy is used if surgery is not possible.

If the growth is a melanoma you will have to have another surgery to make sure that there is no microscopic growth left behind. You will also have to do blood tests and CT scans.

Dr Joyce Lim will schedule a follow-up regime for you to follow. Make sure that you keep the appointments even though the cancer has been removed completely.

6. IS SKIN CANCER CURABLE?

Most skin cancers if detected early are curable.

7. WHAT ARE THE PREVENTIVE MEASURES TO TAKE TO PREVENTION SKIN CANCERS?

The sun damages the skin DNA and repeated sun burns leads to skin cancer. Therefore remember to use a broad spectrum sunscreen at all times when you are outdoors. The sunscreen should have at least an SPF of 30 and UVA filters (measured as PA +++ or PPD value ) Use sunscreen as early as infancy. It is known that skin that suffers sunburns during childhood has a higher risk of developing skin cancers
» Skin Cancer Screening
1. WHEN SHOULD I GO FOR SKIN CANCER SCREENING?

Early detection of a skin cancer ensures that it is diagnosed early and treated early, giving the best possible treatment outcome or cure. Schedule an appointment to see Dr Joyce Lim, a dermatologist, who will perform a full-body skin cancer screening if
  • You suspect you may have a skin cancer/ atypical mole
  • You have a history of skin cancers in the past
  • There is a family history of melanoma
You should also do regular self examination for skin cancers

2. HOW DO I DO A SELF EXAMINATION FOR SKIN CANCER?

Examine your body front and back in the mirror, then look at the right and left sides with your arms raised

Bend elbows and look carefully at forearms, upper underarms and palms.

Look at the backs of your legs and feet, the spaces between your toes, and the soles of your feet.

Examine the back of your neck and scalp with a hand mirror or get someone to check for you. Part hair for a closer look.

Examine your back and buttocks with a hand mirror or get someone to check for you.

3. WHAT ARE THE ABCD SIGNS OF CHANGING MOLES?

The ABCD stands for Asymmetry, Borders, Colour and Diameter. Suspect cancerous change in your moles if you have any of these signs and see a dermatologist early for a skin cancer check

  • Asymmetry -the two halves of the growth is asymmetrical
  • Borders - the borders are jagged and no longer smooth
  • Colour - the growth becomes red or purple
  • Diameter - there is a sudden increase in size
 
...................................................
290 Orchard Road
#11-16/20, Paragon Medical Suites
Singapore 238859
T : 6834 9159
Email: drjoyce@joycelim.com
 
...................................................
290 Orchard Road
#11-16/20, Paragon Medical Suites
Singapore 238859
T : 6834 9159
Email: drjoyce@joycelim.com