Melanoma – Quickly Learn Your Risk

Melanoma is serious, which is why any way to find out if we could be at a higher risk for it is a good thing.

http://www.lookfordiagnosis.com/mesh_info.php?term=Nevus&lang=1

A mole (nevus)

“Researchers at King’s College London have investigated a new method that could be used by General Practitioners to quickly determine the number of moles on the entire body by counting the number found on a smaller ‘proxy’ body area, such as an arm.”

The number of moles on a particular area of the arm can be used to pretty accurately determine the risk for developing melanoma. In the absence of suspicious moles, this is a very simple way to send a warning to go see a dermatologist on a regular basis so he/she gets to know your moles, has a diagram of their location on your body and description of them documented. Over time, if they change or new ones form, your doctor will have a clearer idea of how to care for them and when to biopsy or remove.

“Scientists found that the count of moles on the right arm was most predictive of the total number on the whole body. Females with more than seven moles on their right arm had nine times the risk of having more than 50 on the whole body and those with more than 11 on their right arm were more likely to have over 100 on their body in total, meaning they were at a higher risk of developing a melanoma.”

I will be counting mine and letting my Dermatologist in on this new research finding, as well.

Start counting yours, too!

“Scientists also found that the area above the right elbow was particularly predictive of the total body count of moles. The legs were also strongly associated with the total count as well as the back area in males.”

Read more about this research at Science Daily

…where they describe a mole as being a nevus (- usually dark brown and basically flat).

 

Why Night Skin Cleansing is a Must

Why is night cleansing a must?

It’s late, your exhausted, and just want to jump into bed and fall asleep. “I’ll wash my face in the morning and put on fresh makeup then,” you say to yourself. You think it’s not a big deal, probably because you don’t see the results of your inaction immediately. In reality, it IS a big deal. Over time not washing the day’s “soil” from your face will lead to all kinds of not so pretty results!

In the pictures below you can see how beautiful and healthy a clean, open pore is on the surface and underneath your skin. You can see the blood vessels that bring oxygen and nutrients to your skin to give it a vibrant, healthy glow. [Read more…]

Sometimes, You Must Ask for a Biopsy.

Do you know when to ask for a biopsy?

Several years ago I went to my Dermatology office to seek an opinion on a red spot / bump that was slowly growing on my right shin. It didn’t look like a mole, or anything else I could find within the medical sites on the internet – Mayo Clinic, and the like. (I do check my skin for anything unusual every month or so, using a method I’ve shared in a previous post Are You Regularly Checking Your Skin for Skin Cancer?.)

Wanting to get in as soon as possible, I was told my Dermatologist was booked for at least a month, but they did have an opening right away with one of the Dermatology Physician”s Assistant (PA) who does skin cancer screenings routinely. Feeling a sense of urgency, I booked with the PA. [Read more…]

Basal Cell, Squamous Cell Skin Cancer and Melanoma – What’s the Difference?

basal cell carcinomaBasal Cell Carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer. It is slow growing and easily treated with a small percentage spreading internally. It develops on the skin, most commonly the head and neck, growing from the deepest layers of the epidermis, in areas most exposed to the sun.

Squamaous Cell Carcinoma is the second most common skin cancer.

Squamous cell carcinomas tend to grow and spread more than basal cell cancers. They are more likely to invade fatty tissues just beneath the skin, and are more likely to spread to lymph nodes and/or distant parts of the body, although this is still uncommon.” [Read more…]

What is the MOHS Procedure for Skin Cancer Removal?

More and more people around me are having surgery to remove suspected skin cancers. In the back of our minds, we knew it was possible, our youth spent in honing a beautiful tan with the help of our trusted baby oil. Now we pay the piper. Weird patches are forming on our faces, bumps and lumps, scales and scabs, all the while we live in fear – could it be…. I hope it’s not….skin cancer?
Girl Suntanning at Bondi by fotoFluke

What can we do? First, we ALL know how to prevent skin cancer, right?  Stay out of the sun during peak hours, wear sunscreen, reapply sunscreen, wear light clothing, hats, stay under an umbrella – you  know the drill. Do you really take all these precautions? OR, do you think, it won’t happen to me?  Are we more concerned about how to get rid of our wrinkles produced from sun damage, than preventing skin cancer? Say it isn’t so – after all we’re not dumb … or vain, right? [Read more…]

Does Your Dermatologist Use a Dermatoscope to Detect Skin Cancers?

Did you know there are new tools for dermatologists to use in detecting skin cancers?

Recent advancements in computer and laser technologies, and polarizing lights aid dermatologists in noninvasive skin examination, providing more accurate information in diagnosing skin cancers. [Read more…]

Are YOU Regularly Checking Your Skin for Skin Cancer?

You are your best look out when it comes to skin cancer detection. By following these simple guidelines, recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology, you will be able to observe any changes in your skin. By noticing changes early, you can catch and treat possible skin cancers early. [Read more…]

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