Prescription Arkansas: Skin cancer warning

    10:02 PM, Jun 6, 2012   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Glen Acrey treated the spot with over the counter medications but it didn't get better. That's when the doctor suggested a visit to a dermatologist.

    "When I first had one, I had a spot come up on my forehead. And I kept thinking, "What is that? It will go away," says Acrey.

    Acrey visited Dr. Hayden Franks at Baptist Health who biopsied the spot and told him it was melanoma.

    "It's important if you see a spot that's changing or see a new mole or see a lesion that looks different than its looked before, be sure to report it to your dermatologist just to get it analyzed," says Dr. Franks.

    There are three main forms of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer, accounting for 80-percent of cases. It's a slow growing tumor. A raised reddish, pearly nodule.

    The second most common is squamish cell carcinoma. This type of cancer accounts for 16 percent of skin cancer. It most often occurs in areas exposed to the sun and is common in the elderly. It's an area that feels crusty or scaly.

    "Melanoma skin cancer is the most dangerous type of skin cancer and the easy way to screen yourself and to remember how to screen yourself for melanoma are the abcd's of melanoma," says Dr. Franks.

    A is for asymmetry - one half of the mole is different from the other. B is for border irregularity - The spot has borders that aren't smooth and regular but instead are uneven or notched. C The spot has several colors in an irregular pattern or is a very different color than the rest of your moles. And D diameter, the spot is larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
    Dr. Franks says, "I want folks to hear that they need to watch themselves very closely."

    Doctor Franks says studies have shown that once you go above SPF 30 there is no measure of a decrease in the risk of skin cancer. But that doesn't mean an SPF of above 30 is not a good sunscreen.

    He says look for one that guards against UVA and UVB rays as well as Ultraviolet A and B.
    And a good sunscreen includes zinc oxide and titanium oxide.

    In the meantime, Glen is having a procedure done today to remove the cancerous lesion.

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