Skin Cancer Facts
- Posted on: Dec 30 2020
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, and unfortunately it can be deadly. One way to fight against it is to know how to prevent it and what to look for. Here are some things you should know about skin cancer.
- There are three main types of skin cancer: basal and squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Basal and squamous cell carcinomas are usually found in areas that are often exposed to the sun, and melanoma can develop anywhere, even on skin that isn’t exposed to the sun very often.
- Basal carcinomas are often diagnosed when a patient has a small sore that won’t seem to heal or heals and then returns.
- Skin cancer can affect people of any skin tone, even those with darker skin tones.
- People who have had one or more serious sunburns, people with fair skin, and people with a family history of skin cancer have an increased risk of the disease. You are also at increased risk of developing it again if you’ve had it once.
- Here are some tips for avoiding skin cancer: wear sunscreen all year round, even on cloudy days; avoid tanning beds; wear protective clothing, including sunglasses; be aware that some medications can make you even more sensitive to the sun (ask your doctor to make sure); and check your skin often for irregularities.
If you notice any odd changes in your skin, such as a mole that changes in color or size, or a lesion that is painful and burning, you should make an appointment with your doctor right away. When a cancer is diagnosed early, it can be easier to treat.
Mohs micrographic surgery has a very high cure rate for basal and squamous cell carcinoma. It can remove skin cancer and help to reconstruct any damage it as caused, and often these two procedures can be done on the same day. Dr. Jeffrey Dawes at Plastic and Dermatologic Surgery in Calgary is one of only two plastic surgeons in Canada who has been trained to perform this type of surgery. To make an appointment to discuss Mohs micrographic surgery, call (403) 571-3141.