We’re in the swing of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, when interest in skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment is high. Hopefully you’ve learned something new from The Skin Cancer Foundation that can help keep you and your family safe. But SCA Month (as we call it here at SCF) is also a good time to go back to basics. Here’s a quick refresher on the major types of skin cancer: how they form, what they look like, and their prognoses.
Skin Cancer Information
Since doctors first began treating skin cancer, their techniques for removing tumors have evolved rapidly. There have been many valuable improvements over the years, but Mohs micrographic surgery has truly stood the test of time — it’s come to be accepted as the gold standard for removing the two most common forms of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Hugh Jackman is no stranger to skin cancer: the Australian actor posted a photo of himself on Instagram a few weeks ago showing the aftermath of skin cancer surgery. It wasn’t the first time he’s done so, as he seems pretty keen on raising awareness. The post marks his fifth bout of basal cell carcinoma.
So you’re sitting in the dermatologist’s waiting room, filling out the usual forms required for a doctor visit. After filling in the basics, you spot the next question and realize you’re stumped: it’s asking about your family’s medical history. Has anyone in your family had melanoma or any other form of skin cancer? Here’s why the doctor asks, and what you need to know:
I’d had a few skin cancers removed before, all basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), the most common type. But when I was diagnosed with a squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) on my scalp, it seemed different, and a little more scary.
Here’s one of the many things that keep dermatologist Jennifer Stein, MD, PhD, up at night: people who could be at risk of melanoma and avoid seeing a doctor because they think they can’t afford it.