As an active member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Dr. Steven Greene has been recognized by his patients as a highly skilled practitioner in recognizing the early signs and symptoms of skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, affecting more than 2 million Americans every year. Fortunately, it is also a highly treatable form of the disease, although early detection is paramount to a positive outcome. Any new skin growth should be checked by a doctor, especially those with a tan or translucent color or those that appear after the patient reaches age 21. Additionally, all moles and birthmarks should be monitored on a monthly basis and checked for changes in color, size, texture, and shape. Growths that exceed the size of a pencil eraser or moles with irregular, ragged borders should be brought to the attention of a physician or skin specialist. In addition to detection, prevention is equally important. Protection from the sun is a great start, as is avoiding tanning beds and unnecessary exposure to ultraviolet rays.

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Leveraging decades of experience treating patients with skin cancer as well as less serious conditions, dermatologist Steven Greene instructs medical students as a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Washington Division of Dermatology. Common skin cancers include basal cell carcinoma, which affects the lowest layer of the epidermis and most often appears on the head or neck; and squamous cell carcinoma, which arises in squamous cells, which constitute the main part of the epidermis. Melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer, is less common, but much more aggressive.

Once diagnosed with skin cancer, patients often opt for surgical removal of the cancerous tissue. However, especially in cases of melanoma, excision may not result in a cure. Doctors may recommend a lymph node dissection to see if the cancer cells have metastasized from the skin to the internal organs. In the event the cancer spreads, patients may require radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.

Before deciding on any course of treatment, skin cancer patients should consult with a dermatologist like Dr. Steven Greene.

Dr. Steven Greene’s dermatology career has spanned more than three decades. Previously, Dr. Steven Greene held the position of staff dermatologist at the Seattle-based Group Health Cooperative.

Psoriasis is one of many debilitating skin diseases. While there are multiple forms of the condition, the most common is psoriasis vulgaris, or plaque psoriasis. This form affects some 80% of those who have psoriasis. Patients with plaque psoriasis exhibit reddish skin lesions that develop white scales.

While as much as 10 percent of the population has a genetic predisposition to various forms of psoriasis, only two to three percent eventually get the condition. It is believed that one or more “triggers” must occur to stimulate an initial outbreak. These triggers include skin injury, severe stress, and several known medications, namely lithium, Inderal, and quinidine.

More extensive information about the forms, causes, and treatments of psoriasis is available through the National Psoriasis Foundation’s website at http://www.psoriasis.org.