Saturday, May 8, 2010

How susceptible to skin cancer are you? Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon comments

Dr. Robert Brueck periodically reports on news from the medical field,
particularly in reference to matters of skin health. This report focuses on the risks of skin cancer.

Here in Southwest Florida, we have lots of sun all year around, which puts us at special risk for skin cancer.

But summer could be considered "skin cancer season".

In the summer it is particularly hot and our skin becomes more susceptible to the damaging rays of the sun.

As you may know, there are three types of skin cancer: basal cell, squamous cell and, of course, melanoma.

The one that we need to be particularly diligent about is melanoma.

I recently read an article by Dr. Darrell Rigel, a clinical professor of dermatology at NYU.

He has co-developed a model of six factors that independently predict an individual’s melanoma risks.

These include:
  1. History of blistering sunburn as a teenager

  2. Outdoor jobs for 3 or more years as a teen

  3. Red or blond hair

  4. Marked freckling on the upper back

  5. Family history of melanoma

  6. History of actinic keratosis or pre cancers such as dysplastic nevi

With two 2 or more of these risk factors, a person has a lifetime risk of melanoma that is five to 10 times that of the general population as a whole.

I think it is important that we are aware of these risk factors. If we have some of them, it would be prudent and wise to go to the dermatologist or a plastic surgeon to be evaluated.

I hope you will all get your SPF35 on and enjoy your time in the summer sun.


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