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SRT Skin Cancer Treatment, the MOHS Alternative.

What is Skin Cancer?

skin cancer prevention

Understanding Skin Cancer

The leading cause of skin cancer is the sun. Chronic sun exposure and repeat sun burn as a child and adolescent leaves lasting damage long after the burn and tan have faded away. Repeated small doses of sun exposure can result in skin cancer twenty to forty years later.

There are three types of skin cancer. These cancers are most frequently found in fair-skinned individuals. They include the most common – basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas and the least common type of skin caner – malignant melanoma.

Basal Cell Carcinoma
Basal cell cancer is a slow-growing cancer that seldom spreads to other parts of the body. Fortunately basal cell carcinoma can be cured through removal. There is a direct correlation between the amount of sun a person has been exposed to and the formation of basal cell cancer. Basal cell carcinoma usually appears as a tiny pink bump but can also appear as a shiny scar. Male patients often complain of a bump that is repeatedly nicked while shaving. It usually grows slowly, is persistent, and can bleed and break down.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Another fairly common type of skin cancer is called squamous cell carcinoma. It also arises in areas that have been frequently exposed to sun, such as the ears, face, neck, and even the back of hands. It may appear as skin colored bumps or thick crusted areas that do not heal. It can resemble and even be misdiagnosed as dermatitis, eczema or “ring worm”. Removal can often cure squamous cell carcinoma, however it has the potential to invade the blood stream and possibly metastasize.

Malignant Melanoma
Although malignant melanoma is the least common form of skin cancer, it is being diagnosed more frequently. Rates are approaching 1 in 64 for Caucasians. Malignant melanoma is generally more aggressive than basal cell or squamous cell cancers. It is usually described as a dark spot that suddenly appears or a mole that begins to change shape, color and size. It can be a variety of shades of brown or pink and can be either flat or raised. It is critical that malignant melanoma is removed as early as possible to ensure a cure.

How Do I Prevent Skin Cancer?

Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
Don’t get sunburned!
Avoid traditional tanning, and never use UV tanning beds.
Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad- spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or after swimming or excessive sweating.
Keep newborns out of the sun. Always use sunscreen on babies over the age of six months.
Examine your skin head-to-toe once a month.
See your skin cancer specialist at least once a year for a professional skin exam.