A physician consult and/or referral to Board Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Muba Taher is required to diagnose suspicious lesions. Please make an appointment with your family physician and seek a referral to Dr. Muba Taher if required.
Types of skin cancer
Basal Cell is the most prevalent form of skin cancer. Largely the result of exposure to the sun, it appears as a blemish that refuses to heal – and can have a pearly or shiny texture. The area may be prone to recurrent bleeding. If left untreated it can affect the surrounding tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. Fortunately Basal Cell Carcinoma rarely ever spreads to lymph nodes or other organs.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer, is also caused by prolonged exposure to the sun. Affected skin patches can appear dry and scaly. A small number of SCC can be aggressive and can spread to the lymph nodes and other internal organs.
Malignant Melanoma often appears as a non-uniform dark patch or a freckle of unusual colour, this is the most serious form of skin cancer. Fortunately, malignant Melanomas can be cured through surgery if diagnosed and treated at an early stage.
Statistics on skin cancer
In 2012, an estimated 5800 Canadians were diagnosed with Melanoma with an estimated rate of death of 970 individuals. The incidence of skin cancer continues to grow by an estimate of 1.4% per year.
Skin cancer prevention
Don’t become a statistic! Regular skin checks, sunscreen and sun protection (ie: hats) are your best defense. Skin cancer is largely preventable – do your part!
Ensure your sunscreen has a minimum protection rating of 30 SPF and UVA/UVB and/or Broad Spectrum on the label. For best results, re-apply every 2 hours.