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Archive for the ‘basal cell’ Category

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

Don’t forget to visit … http://www.LegacyEducators.org and click on “Cancer Information”

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It is often perpetuated that those with “high pigmentation” or darker complexion, will not and cannot get skin cancer. FALSE, FALSE, FALSE!

Melanoma on extremity

Melanoma on extremity

The Dark Skin/darker complexion that is seen is due to a substance in the skin called “melanin”, which after it spends time in the sun can become a defense mechanism.  Dark-skinned people have a higher concentration of melanin, which can offer a stronger defense/protection from the sun (sort of like a mild sun screen). HOWEVER, this does NOT mean darker skinned people are immune to skin cancer…not at all!

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV damage can also cause wrinkles and blotches or spots on your skin. The good news is that skin cancer can be prevented, and it can almost always be cured when it’s found and treated early.

The most common forms of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. Each of these has been linked to intermittent and/or chronic sun exposure. Tanning and sunburns are analogous to cigarettes in that just one can increase your risk of cancer, regardless of skin color.

melanomaBecause of this myth, skin cancer is often caught late in African Americans, resulting in a higher fatality (death) rate. An example such as melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, recent studies showed that the 5 year survival rate was 59% in African Americans compared to 85% in Caucasians.

Among African Americans and others of African descent, Asians, Hawaiians, and Native Americans, melanomas are most likely to appear in the mouth, melanomas on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and under the nails.

Take simple steps today to protect your skin. Here are some of the Skin Cancer Foundation Guidelines

  • Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. Put on sunscreen every 2 hours and after you swim or sweat.
  • Do not burn
  • Cover up with long sleeves and a hat.
  • Check your skin regularly for changes (If uncertain, take a photo with your trusted phone…and compare AND show your doc! See chart below)
  • See your physician every year for a professional skin exam

abcdes-of-melanoma-largeTell your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues while out at your backyard BBQ, pool or beach parties to protect themselves – dark skinned, light skinned and everything in between!

Dr. OZ discusses skin cancer…


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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

 

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