Why Skin Cancer

Posted on

Mar 03, 2013

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Utah - Utah

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Skin cancer has reached epidemic proportions with the incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancer up 300% since 1994. Annually there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer. Given the gravity of this epidemic, seniors may find themselves asking, how do I recognize skin cancer and what can I do about it?
What is skin cancer?
The three most common forms of skin cancer are: Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), and Malignant Melanoma (MM).
Although BCC and SCC are rarely fatal, they can be quite disfiguring if they are not detected and treated early. Malignant melanoma kills approximately
8,790 people in the US annually and early diagnosis and treatment are essential to ensure the best outcomes.
What can I do to prevent, detect and treat skin cancer?
Being aware of your own skin is an important measure to aid in early detection and treatment of skin cancer. A monthly self-skin examination has been shown to reduce the risk of melanoma. Suspicious lesions should be evaluated by a dermatologist or other medical provider. Learn how to perform a self-skin examination here:
http://www.aad.org/spot-skin-cancer/understanding-skin-cancer/how-do-i-check
-my-skin/how-to-perform-a-self-exam
What to look for.
-An existing mole that has changes:
Asymmetry
Border that becomes irregular
Color that becomes varied
Diameter larger than the head of a pencil eraser
Evolution or change
Or.
-A sore that does not heal
-Any lesion that changes
-A new lesion on the skin
What should I do if I am concerned?
A regular (often yearly) recurring full body skin examination performed by a dermatologist or other health care provider, regular use of sun block, sun protective clothing, and sun protective behavior (including sun avoidance and seeking shade) are essential additional important protective measures.
If you have any questions at all, it is advisable to seek personal advice from a health care provider. At Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology we value your questions and would be happy to help you in any way.

Editors Note: This article was submitted by Angela Brimhall, D.O., FAOCD,.
Dr. Brimhall is a Dermatologist with Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology
www.dwoseth.com and may be reached at 801-266-8841

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