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Our dedicated dermatologists, Dr. Kraig Jenson and Dr. Byron Edwards, are here to help you with all of your dermatology needs, and this month, our blog is promoting skin cancer awareness.

According to the National Cancer Institute, melanoma (which is the deadliest type of skin cancer) is expected to kill over 7,200 Americans, with estimates of 96,000 new cases being expected in 2019. Most cases of melanoma arise from chronic ultraviolet radiation (UV rays). The good news is, UV exposure is also the most preventable risk factor when it comes to skin cancer.

Breaking it down, skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells that can turn into basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or melanoma. Since early detection supports treatment success, we recommend checking your skin routinely for unusual growths, moles, or dry patches. If you find something that looks suspicious, Dr. Jenson and Dr. Edwards are ready to take a biopsy for laboratory testing to determine if it is dangerous.

The A, B, C, D and E’s of Melanoma

Because early detection of skin cancer is almost always curable, we encourage you to get early skin checks that are based on “the A, B, C, D and E’s of melanoma” which stands for the following:

A = asymmetry
B = border irregularity
C = color variation
D = diameter
E = evolution or change.

If our dermatologists detect skin cancer, they will offer treatment based on your unique needs. Unless the cancer has spread, there are surgical options with the goal of removing all of the cancer. If surgery is not an option, chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be advised.

To prevent skin cancer, the American Academy of Dermatology strongly encourages everyone, regardless of age, gender, or race to use protection whenever you plan on heading outdoors. Look for shade whenever possible, wear clothes that cover your skin, and use a water-resistant sunscreen containing SPF 30+ to safeguard your skin.

In honor of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, we encourage you to contact Kraig Jenson, PC, Dermatology Center to learn more about treatments for skin cancer in Orem, Utah, and to schedule your appointment.