A member asked:

Please share an interesting fact about dealing with nonmelanoma skin cancer.

20 doctors weighed in across 107 answers
Dr. Sewa Legha answered

Specializes in Medical Oncology

It does not cause distant metastases, so there is no risk of dying from this type of skin cancer!

Answered Aug 13, 2016

4.3k views

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Dr. Irving Harper answered

Specializes in Internal Medicine

Most nonmelanoma skin cancers are curable if detected early, so get a skin check at least once/ year.

Answered Jun 13, 2017

4.2k views

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Dr. Lauren Stegman answered

Specializes in Radiation Oncology

Radiation therapy can be just as effective as surgey, ask about this option.

Answered Aug 31, 2015

4.2k views

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Dr. Russell Sparenberg answered

Specializes in

The best advice is to prevent skin cancer by protecting skin from ultra violet light.

Answered May 21, 2014

4.1k views

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Dr. Bradford Romans answered

Specializes in Internal Medicine

They are almost never dangerous if discovered early and treated.

Answered Sep 4, 2014

3.9k views

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Dr. Ivelisse Rivera-Godreau answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Get lesions removed, avoid recurrence using sun block thereafter.

Answered Jul 1, 2014

3.9k views

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Dr. Linda Everett answered

Specializes in Internal Medicine

Non melanoma skin cancer is the most common type of cancer.

Answered Jul 2, 2014

3.9k views

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Dr. Susan Arnoult answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers are related to sun exposure. Sun screen is a MUST!

Answered Jul 9, 2014

3.9k views

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Dr. Otto Placik answered

Specializes in Surgery - Plastics

While some nonsurgical treatments are available, surgery is usually curative in early cases.

Answered Sep 29, 2016

3.9k views

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Dr. Otto Placik answered

Specializes in Surgery - Plastics

While non-surgical options are available, surgery is usually curative in early cases.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.9k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

The cure rate for skin cancer could be 100 percent if all were brought to a Dr's attention early.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Checking your skin monthly makes you more familiar with what “normal” looks like.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Checking you skin monthly allows you to notice any changes that may take place.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

All changes on your skin are not sure signs of cancer, but let the Dr. know of them.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

It is important to see a doctor if a mark changes or something doesn't look right to you.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Having a friend or spouse help do skin checks increases your chances of finding issues.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

The back is the most common site of melanomas in males.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Using two mirrors helps check all areas of your back, buttocks and genitals.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

This Skin self-check is not a substitute for seeing your doctor yearly.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

To be effective, skin cancer early detection includes self checks and routine Dr. visits.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Its important to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Prevention is the key to cure!

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Each year more than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the US.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Sun exposure is the major risk factor for skin cancer.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

90 percent of skin cancers are caused by the sun's ultraviolet rays (UVR).

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Most skin damage associated with aging/wrinkles/sagging/leathering, & discoloration, is UVR related.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

The sun's rays are usually strongest between 10 AM and 4 PM.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Even a single sunburn increases your risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Suffering five or more sunburns doubles your lifetime risk of developing melanoma.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

A tan is never safe, whether you acquire it on the beach or in a salon.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

It's safer to obtain vitamin D through D-rich foods and/or dietary supplements than the sun!

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Some sunlamps used in tanning salons actually emit UVR doses as much as 12 times that of the sun.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

When unprotected skin is overexposed to UVR, DNA is damaged.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

A tan is the skin's attempt to prevent further damage by creating a wall of darker pigment.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Damage that has already occurred to skin cells, can lead to changes (mutations) in skin cell DNA.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

People who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

People who use tanning beds are 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma (BCC).

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Young people, including teenagers, are especially sensitive to the UVR emitted from tanning booths.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Clothing can be your most effective form of sun protection.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

If you wear a hat to protect you from the sun, be sure it covers your ears too.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Densely woven and bright or dark colored fabrics offer the best defense against sun damage effects.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

A thin white T-shirt provides a UPF, or Ultraviolet Protection Factor, of about 5, blueJeans 1700!

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

The more skin you cover, the better, so choose long sleeves and long pants whenever possible.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

A UPF rating of 30 and up indicates substantial protection.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Wraparound sunglasses that block 99-100 percent of sun's UV rays effectively shield both eyes & Skin.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Hats with a brim of 3" or greater offer significant protection for the face and back of the neck.

Answered Sep 29, 2016

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

SPF of 15 would prevent sunburn 15 times longer than if the product weren't used.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Higher SPFs can make a difference for people with skin that always burns rather than tans.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

A high SPF alone is not enough to protect you against all skin cancer.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Broad spectrum offer both "UVA/ UVB" protection.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

UVA-filtering ingredients include: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, stabilized avobenzone, or ecamsule.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Sunlight reflects off snow, ice, sand and water, intensifying UVR effects by up to 80 percent.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

If your skin gets dry, moisturizing sunscreen formulas are a great idea.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Even on overcast days, 70-80 percent of UVR travels through clouds.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

At high altitudes, for example when you're skiing, the thinner atmosphere filters out less UVR.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

For adequate protection, you have to apply enough sunscreen.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Babies are especially susceptible to the sun's damaging effects.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

The SCF grants its seal to products that meet the highest standards for safety and effectiveness.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Golfers can receive up to five times the amount of sun exposure needed to cause sunburn.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Transparent window film screens out almost 100 percent of UVB and UVA without reducing visibility,.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

If you have window film installed, remember that it protects you only when the windows are closed.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

A sunscreen should be on hand for quick reapplication during long drives.

Answered Aug 4, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Drivers' heads and necks receive the most UV exposure.

Answered Sep 29, 2016

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

A solid, closed roof on a vehicle offers the best protection from the suns damaging rays.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Nearly 53 percent of skin cancers in the US occur on the left, or drivers' side of the body.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

UV radiation reaches us in the form of shortwave UVB and long-wave UVA rays.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Glass only blocks the shortwave UVB radiation effectively.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Car rear windows are unprotected against UV Radiation, leaving back seat passengers exposed.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Men over age 40 have the highest annual exposure to UV radiation.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over age 50.

Answered Sep 29, 2016

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Melanoma is one of only three cancers with an increasing mortality rate for men.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

The ears and the nose are particularly susceptible to skin cancer-Protect them!

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Most skin cancers are curable if caught early.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Most skin cancers can be treated with local excision.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

With a few simple precautions, you can enjoy a beach excursion without risking your skin's health.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Apply sunscreen to the bottoms of your feet,, that area may be exposed when lying on your belly.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

A half day at the beach requires at least two applications of sunscreen.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Sunscreens are available in lotion, gel, spray, cream, and stick forms.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

The UV radiation emitted by indoor tanning lamps is many times more intense than natural sunlight.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Assure the Pathology lab "checks the borders for disease" of any excisional biopsies.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Sun and fun are cool. Skin cancer is not. Use sunscreen!

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Be aware of any changes in the skin that have grown larger, appear pearly, multicolored, or dark.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Be aware of any moles, beauty marks, birthmarks or brown spots that change in color/shape/size.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, but if caught early, it's often treatable.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

There is no reason not to use sunscreens because of a fear of low vitamin D.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

The likelihood of recurrence of a previously treated skin cancer is as low as 1% to 2% for Mohs Surg.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

The prognosis for most skin cancer is generally excellent.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

There are virtually no deaths from basal cell CA and only rare deaths with squamous cell CA.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Many skin cancers can be prevented by avoiding the triggers that cause the tumors to develop.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Moles are almost always harmless and only very rarely turn into skin cancer.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

If a mole becomes cancerous, it would most likely be a melanoma.

Answered Sep 29, 2016

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

A pre-cancerous stage, called a dysplastic nevus, is somewhat more irregular than a normal mole.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Moles never become squamous cell carcinomas or basal cell carcinomas.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Skin cancers typically arise in areas of the skin exposed to the sun repeatedly over many years.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Sun exposed area are common, but skin cancer may occur just about anywhere on the skin.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

A skin exam by a dermatologist is the easiest way to get a definitive diagnosis of skin cancer.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

In many cases of skin cancer, the appearance alone is sufficient to make the diagnosis.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

A skin biopsy is usually used to confirm a suspicion of skin cancer.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

A skin biopsy used to confirm a suspicion of skin cancer, may be curative if all is removed.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

A Biopsy can be performed by numbing the area under the tumor with a local anesthetic.

Answered Jul 27, 2014

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

With a biopsy, a Pathologist will render a diagnosis based on the characteristics of the tumor.

Answered Jul 28, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. John Munshower answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

There is no specific staging system for basal cell skin carcinoma.

Answered Jul 28, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. Joseph Woods answered

Specializes in Pathology

With any form of skin dysplasia/cancer, the earlier it's treated, the better the results are.

Answered Jul 28, 2014

3.8k views

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Dr. Kris Gast answered

Specializes in Radiation Oncology

Use a retinol cream daily to keep your skin healthy.Wear sunscreen when outside, don't for get hands.

Answered Jan 13, 2015

3.3k views

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Dr. Darrell Latva answered

Specializes in Podiatry

Most commonly,subungual melanoma affects the thumb, big toe, and index finger of dominant hand.

Answered Aug 4, 2016

1.1k views

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Dr. Darrell Latva answered

Specializes in Podiatry

Hutchinson's Sign is a blackening of the proximal nail fold, indicating extension of nail melanoma.

Answered Aug 4, 2016

1.1k views

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