Page 46 - Network Magazine Summer 2019
P. 46

         Do You Use Protection?
DAVID B. VASILY, MD, FOUNDER LEHIGH VALLEY DERMATOLOGY
Do you use protection?
No, not the kind of protection you’re likely thinking of. It’s a provocative question from the American Academy of Dermatology, designed to get you to think about and use sunscreen regularly. It’s imperative to slather on the sun- screen during the summer but also important year-round.
I’ve been a member of AAD since I began my career as a board-certified dermatologist, and the need for sunscreen has never been greater. Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in United States. In fact, one in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. It is estimated that approximately 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every day.
By definition, skin cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells. It most often develops on areas of the skin exposed to the sun’s rays. Skin cancer affects people of all colors and races, although those with light skin who sunburn easily have a higher risk. It’s why we encourage everyone to wear protective sunscreen daily. We also encourage annual skin cancer checks in our office.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, while basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, are the two most common forms of skin cancer. Here are some basic facts about each:
Melanoma is the most serious.
• Frequently develops in a mole or suddenly appears
as a new dark spot on the skin.
• Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial.
• Is often treated surgically. May also require chemo- therapy.
Squamous Cell is the second most common form of cancer.
• Squamous cell carcinoma often looks like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with a central depression, or warts; they may crust or bleed.
• Cases tend to form on skin that gets frequent sun exposure, such as the rim of the ear, face, neck, arms, chest, and back.
• Most squamous cell carcinomas of the skin can be completely removed with surgery, radiation therapy or occasionally with a topical medication.
Basal Cell is the most common and slowest growing form of skin cancer.
• Basal cell carcinomas often look like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or scars.
• Early diagnosis and treatment are important.
• Doesn’t commonly spread to other parts of the body,
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