With summer right around the corner, all of us have fond memories of laying on a beach and basking in the sun. While the sun increases vitamin D in our body and raises our endorphins, or our happy hormones, it can also cause sunburn and quickly ruin that perfect beach day. I’m sure I’m not alone in reliving the memory of my first horrible sunburn. The blisters and the agony that quickly ruin that beach vacation (the Florida sun will get you every time).
May is the National Skin Cancer and Melanoma Awareness Month and it is only fitting that we focus this blog on educating about the basics of skin cancer. There are three common types of skin cancers: Basal cell carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, and Melanoma. Each skin cancer has different subtypes and treatments vary accordingly. While skin cancers are, common and becoming more common daily they are highly treatable especially if caught early!
Early detection can save lives! Let me show you how to spot and identify them!
Basal Cell Carcinoma is usually manageable
How common? The first and most common type of skin cancer is Basal Cell Carcinoma.
Cause? This type of skin cancer typically arises from chronic sun exposure. Genetics can contribute and some immune suppressants can increase the chance of this skin cancer.
Location? High-risk locations on the body are typically the face (especially the nose!), the shoulders, back, and chest.
Appearance? Basal cell carcinoma can be early and appear as non-specific as a bright pink patch, while other presentations can present like a shiny pearly bump that bleeds easily.
Dismissed as what? Dry patch, acne lesion, insect bite, but never healing.
Behavior? This form of skin cancer thankfully is very slow-growing and has a low risk of metastasis, however, it is important to seek treatment promptly to ensure that there is no chance for growth or spreading to occur.
Treatments? There are treatment options and they vary depending on stage and subtype.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma can be tricky