It’s been awhile since Doug did a guest post. As Summer is coming to an end I thought it would be a good time to have him share a little about Skin Cancer Awareness and Self Checks. This subject is one that kind of hits home for us as Doug had his first skin cancer detection back in 2010.
**Warning there will be some pretty graphic pics in this post.**
Two words: SKIN CANCER
My next thought is also two words. CANCER SUCKS
School has started and Another summer has come to an end . Janna and I have always loved summer and warm weather and hate to see it fade away.
As summer has come to a close it is always a great idea to make sure you and your skin are checked and taken care of.
Skin Cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in the United States.
The statistics show that nearly 90,000 skin cancer diagnosis’ are made each year.
In 2010, I was one of the many that got diagnosed and treated for skin cancer. I ignored many lesions on my face and head for months maybe even years. I am certainly not the brightest at times… Just ask Janna. My lesions started as scaly patches that would bleed when I dried off with a towel. They seemed to come and go. I was hard-headed as usual and made excuses not to get them checked but with Janna’s help and influence I finally went to see a Dermatologist. I was diagnosed with Basal and Squamous cell cancers on my face(nose) and head. Treatment included freezing the lesions with cryotherapy and Mohs Surgery. (See Pics).
I did well and still get check ups every 6 months like clockwork. Even with my 6 month checks, I have had a few other skin cancers cut off of me since and probably will continue to have to have things frozen and cut off of me for the rest of my life.
There are 3 major types of skin cancer. Basal Cell, Squamous Cell and Melanoma.
BASAL CELL cancers are slow-growing and rarely spread. They can appear as painless shiny areas with blood vessels or occasionally ulcers.
SQUAMOUS CELL cancers are more likely to spread and can be a hard lump with a scaly top and can also form an ulcer.
MELANOMA is the most aggressive and includes moles that have changed in shape, color or size or have an irregular border.
Causes of all three are UV rays from the Sun or tanning beds.
Prevention is key. Use sunscreen that is broad-based. It should block UV rays A and B. (UVA/UVB). And should be at least 15 SPF. I use 70 SPF daily and 100 SPF when playing in the sun.
Check your sunscreens not all are created equal.
See your Doctor when skin changes occur.
A very common “mnemonic” is ABCDE
A: Asymmetry. Any skin lesion that is asymmetric.
B: Border. Any lesion that has an irregular border.
C: Color. Any change in a lesions color or multiple Colors in any one lesion
D: Diameter: Any lesion larger than 6 mm or roughly the size of pencil eraser.
E: Evolving: Any change that you as in any of the above notes signs.
Prevention is key and also a low threshold for anything suspicious. If in doubt get it checked out.
Thanks for your time
Stay happy and healthy.
Doug Fillmore PA-C