Skin cancer. Chilling words, indeed. Did you know that there are more than a million new cases of skin cancer in the US each year? Skin cancer has been called a “lifestyle disease” - one that is associated with the choices you make, the way you live and the way you spend your time. That’s a fairly harsh moniker that you may not agree with, but skin cancer can be deadly if not caught early and treated. You may choose to spend lots of time in the hot, Florida sun this summer, and if that’s true, having information on the topic of skin cancer is a first step in understanding how to avoid it. To that end, here are a few things to know about Basal Cell Carcinomas (BCCs): BCCs are abnormal, uncontrolled growths that usually develop on sun-exposed parts of your body, especially your head and neck. However, they can occur on any part of your body - even those that are rarely exposed to sunlight. Although a general warning sign of skin cancer is a sore that won't heal or that repeatedly bleeds and scabs over, basal cell carcinomas may also appear as:
- Flat, scaly, brown or flesh-colored patches on your back or chest.
- Waxy or white bumps on your face, neck or ears. The bumps may bleed and develop a crust.
- Eighty to eighty-five percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are BCCs. More than one out of every three new cancers is a skin cancer - and the vast majority are BCCs.
- BCCs affect the lower, basal layer of the epidermis, but they rarely spread beyond the original site. They should never be taken lightly, however. They can be disfiguring and even deadly if not treated promptly.
- A head to toe, full-body check, once a year, is the best way to screen for BCCs, as well as all other forms of skin cancer.
- It’s important to use a sunscreen that is 30 SPF or greater every day, especially during the times of the day when the sun is at its hottest.
We care about you and want to be your Ponte Vedra Beach skin-care specialists. If you have a suspicious growth or mole, please call to schedule an appointment, today: 904.686.8020.