JUNE Paisley PRESCRIPTIONS – SKIN CANCER:
Q.When should I be concerned about a mole?
Skin cancer- the abnormal growth of skin cells- most often develops on skin exposed to the sun, including scalp, face, lips, ears, neck, chest, arms, legs and hands. But this common form of cancer can occur on areas of your skin not ordinarily exposed to sunlight, such as palms, beneath fingernails or toenails and genital area. There are three major types of skin cancer- basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.
Refer to the ABCDEs (see picture)
“When in doubt, have it checked out” said by Dr. Bowen. Skin Cancer is the easiest preventable cancer and if quickly identified it is easiest treated.
Q.How often should I get checked? (overall skin check)
It is recommended that you get checked for skin cancers annually. If you are at an increase risk or if you have had skin cancer in the past it may be recommended that you go more often anywhere from every 3 to 6 months. It is best that you keep an eye on your body each day. Keep watch of any suspicious lesions on your skin and if it anything changes it is best to have it checked.
Q.Who is most at risk for skin cancer?
Skin Cancer affects people of all skin tones, including those with darker complexions. Much of the damage to DNA in skin cells results from ultraviolet (UV) radiation found in sunlight and in the lights used in tanning beds. Factors that increase your risk of skin cancer include:
Fair skin– having less pigment (melanin) in your skin provides less protection from damaging UV radiation. If you have blond or red hair and light-colored eyes, and you freckle or sunburn easily you’re much more likely to develop skin cancer than a person with darker skin
History of sunburns– having had one or more blistering sunburns as a child or teenager increases your risk of developing skin cancer as an adult. Sunburns in adulthood also are risk factors.
Excessive sun exposure-anyone who spends considerable time in the sun may develop skin cancer, especially if the skin isn’t protected by sunscreen or clothing. Tanning, including exposure to tanning lamps and beds, also put you at risk. A tan is your skin’s injury response to excessive UV radiation.
Moles- people who have many moles or abnormal moles are at increased risk of skin cancer. These abnormal moles, which look irregular and are generally larger than normal moles are more likely than others to become cancerous.
Precancerous skin lesions– having skin lesions known as actinic keratoses can increase your risk of developing skin cancer
Family history of skin cancer or Personal history of skin cancer- have an increase risk factor
Weakened immune system- having an autoimmune deficiency or having to take immunosuppressant drugs after an organ transplant increase your risk
Exposure to radiation- people who have received radiation for skin conditions such as eczema and acne may have an increased risk