In the colder months, skin cancer is probably the last thing on your mind – you probably don’t want to go outside anyway, so you’re not worried about the sun. However, you still need to be on the lookout for skin cancer, because it can develop anywhere, even places that are never exposed to the sun. Read on for even more things you should know about skin cancer.
Skin cancer facts
It is estimated that two people die of skin cancer every hour and that about 20% of people will get skin cancer. That’s why it is so important to be aware of skin cancer and know a few facts about it:
1. Skin cancer affects people of all skin tones, not just those with lighter tones.
2. There are signs you may be at increased risk of skin cancer. For example, if you’ve already had it once there is an increased chance that you’ll get it again. Other things that increase your odds are a family history of skin cancer and having had a serious sunburn in the past.
3. There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Basal and squamous cell carcinomas are typically found on skin that is often exposed to the sun. Melanoma, though, can develop anywhere, and it is also the most dangerous because it is more likely to spread to other tissues.
4. If you have any changes in your skin, such as a burning or painful lesion or a mole that changes color or size, you should see your doctor right away. Cancer that is diagnosed early is easier to treat.
You should also know that if you do have skin cancer, Mohs surgery is a very effective treatment option – for basal and squamous cell carcinoma, it has a 98% cure rate! Jeffrey C. Dawes, MD, FRCSC Plastic and Dermatologic Surgery in Calgary is one of only a handful of surgeons in Canada who is trained in Mohs surgery and is an expert in not only removing skin cancer but also correcting any damage resulting from the skin cancer. Call (403) 571-3141 for a Mohs surgery consultation today!