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Preventing Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer Prevention

TYPES OF SKIN CANCER:

Squamous Cell:

Squamous Cell

A 60-year-old man, who has been a sun-bather since his younger years has noticed a crusty pink lesion that is slightly raised on his forehead. He has had pre cancerous lesions that were treated in the past but has no personal history of skin cancer.

What should he do next?

  1. Schedule a skin check at Advanced Plastic Surgery Center
    (302-355-0005) p
    *Most Insurances Accepted*
  2. Your provider will evaluate the area of concern
    and decide whether a biopsy is necessary
  3. If a biopsy is taken, it will be sent to a lab
    for testing

What if the results come back SCC (Squamous Cell Carcinoma)?

You and your provider will determine what the next course of action will be. In most areas of the face and body. the skin cancer can be removed under local anesthesia that usually takes no longer than 20 minutes.However, in certain critical areas of the face/body including eyelid, ear, nose, and lip as well as recurrent cancers, your provider will typically do a procedure called a “frozen section.

What is a Frozen Section?

This procedure is unique in that the provider will take the least amount of tissue as possible and an on-site pathologist examines the sample, then determines if it is free of any cancer cells. The created defect after the skin cancer is successfully removed will be closed immediately producing the best possible scar. The procedure takes less then 1 hour and has a 97% success rate!

Basal Cell Carcinoma:

Basal Cell Carcinoma

A 53 year old female who admits to past sun exposure notices anpearly pink bump on her right cheek. She has never had skin cancer. nor has anybody in her family.

What should she do next?

  1. Schedule a skin check at Advanced Plastic Surgery Center
    (302-355-0005)
  2. Your provider will evaluate the area of concern
    and decide whether a biopsy is necessary
  3. If a biopsy is taken, it will be sent to a lab
    for testing

What if the results come back BCC (Basal Cell Carcinoma)?

You and your provider will determine what the next course of action will be. In most areas of the face and body. the skin cancer can be removed under local anesthesia that usually takes no longer than 20 minutes. However, in certain critical areas of the face/body including eyelid, ear, nose, and lip as well as recurrent cancers, your provider will typically do a procedure called a “frozen section.

What is a Frozen Section?

This procedure is unique in that the provider will take the least amount of tissue as possible and an on-site pathologist examines the sample, then determines if it is free of any cancer cells. The created defect after the skin cancer is successfully removed will be closed immediately producing the best possible scar. The procedure takes less then 1 hour and has a 97% success rate!

Melanoma:

Melanoma

A 43-year-old mother of four notices a suspicious brown lesion on her back. Her father, as well as her two brothers were previously treated for malignant melanoma and precancerous moles. What should she do next?

  1. Schedule a skin check at Advanced Plastic Surgery Center (302-355-0005)
  2. Your provider will evaluate the area of concern
  3. Photos will be taken
  4. Decision will be made to take a biopsy
  5. If biopsy is taken, a sample will be sent to a lab for testing. If biopsy comes back benign,
    skin checks will be made as well as education on sun protection.
  6. Results will come back in 1 week.

**If result comes back as Melanoma, you and your provider will determine what the next course of action will be.

Atypical (Dysplastic) Mole:

Atypical (Dysplastic) Mole

A 35-year-old female with no personal history of skin cancer notices a funny looking mole on her stomach. It seems to have different colors and an odd shape. Her mother was treated for malignant melanoma and precancerous moles. What should she do next?

  1. Schedule a skin check at Advanced Plastic Surgery Center (302-355-0005)
  2. Provider will evaluate the area of concern
  3. Photos will be taken
  4. A decision will be made to take a biopsy
  5. If biopsy is taken, a sample will be sent to a lab for testing. If biopsy comes back benign,
    skin checks will be made as well as education on sun protection.
  6. Results will come back in 1 week.

What if the result comes back as a dysplastic nevus?

If results come back as a dysplastic nevus you and your provider will determine the next course of action. Atypical (dysplastic) moles can be a precursor to melanoma, especially with a family history. They often look like a melanoma when discussing the ABCDE’s for diagnosing melanoma. Depending on how atypical the mole is, you surgeon may decide to watch the lesion using photography for any changes, or remove it completely.

Actinic Keratosis

Actinic Keratosis

A 55-year-old male notices pink, slightly scaly mark on his right arm. He has noticed it for the past 3 months. He has no personal history of skin cancer. His mother and father had precancerous lesions. What should he do next?

  1. Schedule a skin check at Advanced Plastic Surgery Center (302-355-0005)
  2. Provider will evaluate the area of concern
  3. Photos will be taken
  4. This is most likely an actinic keratosis which is a precancerous lesion.
    We can treat these lesions by freezing them off using cryotherapy or
    use a prescription like effudex for multiple pre-cancerous spots.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

WAYS TO PREVENT SKIN CANCER:

Early Detection:Give yourself and/or as a friend to give you monthly self skin exams. You want to be looking for any abnormal looking or new lesions and the “ugly duckling” (the mole that looks different from the rest). Refer to the images below:

Self Examination:

Finding the “Ugly Duckling”

Most moles and spots on your body are the same or are similar-looking to each other. The method behind the Ugly Duckling Sign is for you to compare your moles with each other. If any mole stands out or looks different from that of surrounding moles, it is the ugly duckling.

An ugly duckling may be a single large dark mole in amongst a sea of smaller lighter moles, or it could be a single small light mole in amongst a sea of large dark moles. The point is that it sticks out from the rest of the crowd.

Find the ugly duckling

Real Life Example of “Ugly Duckling”
THE ABC’s of Skin

THE ABC's of Skin
Wear Sun Screen Year Round

Wear Sun Screen Year Round

Wear Protective Clothing

Wear Protective Clothing

Use a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) chart when choosing
protective clothing:

The Key to PREVENTING SKIN CANCER is to PROTECT, DETECT, and TREAT:

Stage 1: Protect from Cancer 1. PROTECT yourself from the excessive sun exposure

Stage 2: Detect Cancer 2. Early DETECTION of skin cancer through self-examinations and regular skin screenings with medical photography

Stage 3: Treat Cancer3. TREAT precancerous and cancerous skin lesions promptly

Which of these melanomas is most likely to be life-threatening?

Description: melanomaDescription: melanomaDescription: melanoma

Which skin type is a greatest risk for melanoma?

Description: melanoma

Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer:

  1. Avoid the sun during the middle of the day. For many people in North America, the sun’s rays are strongest between about 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Schedule outdoor activities for other times of the day, even in winter or when the sky is cloudy. You absorb UV radiation year-round, and clouds offer little protection from damaging rays. Avoiding the sun at its strongest helps you avoid the sunburns and suntans that cause skin damage and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Sun exposure accumulated over time also may cause skin cancer.
  2. Wear sunscreen year-round. Sunscreens don’t filter out all harmful UV radiation, especially the radiation that can lead to melanoma. But they play a major role in an overall sun protection program. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring. Use a generous amount of sunscreen on all exposed skin, including your lips, the tips of your ears, and the backs of your hands and neck.
  3. Wear protective clothing. Sunscreens don’t provide complete protection from UV rays. So cover your skin with dark, tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs, and a broad-brimmed hat, which provides more protection than a baseball cap or visor does. Some companies also sell photoprotective clothing. Don’t forget sunglasses. Look for those that block both types of UV radiation — UVA and UVB rays.
  4. Avoid tanning beds. Tanning beds emit UV rays and can increase your risk of skin cancer.
  5. Be aware of sun-sensitizing medications. Some common prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including antibiotics, can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the side effects of any medications you take. If they increase your sensitivity to sunlight, take extra precautions to stay out of the sun in order to protect your skin.
  6. Check your skin regularly and report changes to your doctor. Examine your skin often for new skin growths or changes in existing moles, freckles, bumps and birthmarks. With the help of mirrors, check your face, neck, ears and scalp. Examine your chest and trunk, and the tops and undersides of your arms and hands. Examine both the front and back of your legs, and your feet, including the soles and the spaces between your toes.