What you need to know about precancerous lesions

August 15, 2020

Our team at Chevy Chase Dermatology educates patients on the concerns that arise with skin cancer. Skin cancer is a serious condition that can be deadly, but with early detection and treatment, many patients are able to survive skin cancer. This is why regular skin cancer screenings are vital to managing this diagnosis. However, there are other lesions that can develop on the skin that may be of concern, even if they are biopsied and do not produce a positive result for skin cancer cells. These precancerous lesions, sometimes known as actinic keratoses, can later progress into a type of cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma. Because of this, they often require treatment.

What is actinic keratosis?

Actinic keratosis is a precancerous lesions that often develops on the skin and appear as pink, rough, scaly patches. In most situations, they develop on areas of the skin where chronic sun exposure has occurred, but they may develop elsewhere. Statistics show that at least one in six Caucasian Americans will develop a precancerous lesion within their lifetime. With proper analysis and diagnosis, patients are able to work with their doctor to learn about an effective treatment option.

How are precancerous lesions such as AKs treated?

In most situations, Dr. Margaret Summerville and her team at Chevy Chase Dermatology will recommend removal of the lesion. This may be done via a variety of methods, which are discussed during a patient’s appointment. Removal may include:

  • Surgical excisions
  • Cryosurgery
  • Curettage
  • Topical medications
  • Laser or light-based therapy

During a patient’s appointment, all options are discussed to fully educate patients in making a well-informed decision regarding what is best for their lifestyle and unique needs.

Learn more about precancerous lesions

Dr. Margaret Summerville of Chevy Chase, MD is dedicated to providing patients with the care they need to look and feel their best—while avoiding conditions such as skin cancer. If you suspect you have precancerous lesions present on your skin, it is incredibly vital that you have then screened for cancer with a dermatologist. The team at Chevy Chase Dermatology is here to help. Call (301) 656-SKIN today to request a consultation visit and initial skin cancer screening appointment.


Category: Actinic keratoses (AKs)


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