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Skin Cancers: What You Need to Know

In this summer 2013 issue of Canadian SKIN, our very own Dr. Benjamin Barankin and Dr. Anatoli Freiman discuss pre-cancerous lesions called actinic keratoses (AK), as well as the important and common skin cancers including basal cell cancer (BCC), squamous cell cancer (SCC), and malignant melanoma (MM). They discuss the importance of sun protection including wearing a hat, sunglasses, and a high quality broad-spectrum sunblock with SPF 30 or higher which is reapplied every 2-3 hours. They also review how to spot a concerning lesion or skin cancer, which features to look for, and when to see a dermatologist. Dr. Barankin and Dr. Freiman also highlight the various treatment options for skin cancers and pre-cancers. Finally, they highlight the important ABCDE rule for spotting a melanoma, the most serious skin cancer. Features of concern for a melanoma include: Asymmetry, Border irregularity, Colour (multiple, or black), Diameter (>6mm is more worrisome), and Evolution (a changing mole must be examined by an expert such as a dermatologist). To view the article click here.

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