Skin Cancer Awareness

Now that summer is on it’s way, we should all be aware of the danger of excessive sun exposure. Although sun exposure plays an important role in the development of skin cancers, its important to note that it can still appear in places that have never seen the light of day.

There are 3 main types of skin cancer:

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)- Almost always occurs in sun exposed areas, and rarely spreads to remote areas. The most common form of treatment is surgical removal, and results in a 95% cure rate.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma(SCC)- This is the second most frequent type of skin cancer. It arises from the superficial layer of the skin, and again mostly in sun exposed areas. It has the ability to spread to distant places much more frequently than BCC. Treatment is usually surgical excision.

Melanoma- The most dangerous type of skin cancer, it originates in the pigmented cells of the skin. If caught early it can be treated by surgical removal with great success, but left alone can spread and prove to be fatal.

Know your ABCDE’s

  • Asymmetry, one part of the lesion doesn’t match the other
  • Border, the edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred
  • Color, color not uniform
  • Diameter, greater than 6mm or the head of a pencil eraser
  • Evolving, if the size, shape or color are changing

Remember, its important to visit a dermatologist on a regular basis, especially if you notice any of the changes mentioned above.

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