May is skin cancer awareness month. It is also the start of warmer weather and sunnier days. This is the third and final blog post about sun and skin safety. Don't forget to check out the first two.
There are three main types of skin cancer, depending on which cells are affected. Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma.
Skin Safety Tip #5
Have your family doctor investigate any lesions you are concerned about.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common, affecting 50-60 000 Canadians every year. It appears most often in sun exposed areas of the skin (although can occur in non sun-exposed areas), most often on the face, head, and neck. It can appear in a number of ways:
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common form of skin cancer (around 20 000 Canadians affected each year). They most commonly appear on sun-exposed areas of the body. It can appear in a number of ways:
Malignant melanoma is the most rare, but most dangerous form of skin cancer. Over 5 000 Canadians are diagnosed each year, and over 900 Canadians die from melanoma each year. It is most often found on the backs of men and the legs of woman. Excessive UVR exposure, especially previous sunburns, have been attributed to the cause of melanoma.
For melanoma, follow the ABCDEs:
For diagnosis, a biopsy of the lesion will be performed. The treatment will deppend on the stage and location of the melanoma.
Skin Safety Tip #6
Perform self-exams once a month
Harvard Health Publications
Skin Cancer Foundation
Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation
American Academy of Dermatology
National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention
American Cancer Society
Asymmetrical Melanoma - by National Cancer Institute - CC BY
Dr. Judith McCann has been living in York Region for over 15 years. After going to Queen's University in Kingston for Kinesiology, and Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto to become a chiropractor, she decided to move back and open Haptic Health and Chiropractic in Newmarket. In February 2017, Haptic Health and Chiropractic moved 10 minutes up the road to Sharon in East Gwillimbury.