Skin Cancer Treatment Honolulu HI
By Kris Wetherbee
It just wouldn’t go away. The small pearly bump near the bridge of my nose had been there for what seemed like months, and it showed no signs of disappearing. I might have ignored it except that it would occasionally bleed and then form a scab—and it would never fully heal.
My family doctor said it didn’t look like skin cancer and assured me that it was probably nothing, then proceeded to freeze the area with liquid nitrogen. After six months it still hadn’t cleared up, so I went back to see my doctor and he froze it again. It wasn’t until a year later that I decided to listen to my gut instead of my doctor and made an appointment with a dermatologist. She didn’t think it looked like skin cancer, either, but this time I insisted on getting a biopsy.
I had good reason. For starters, I grew up in Southern California and spent my summers basking in the sun slathered in baby oil. Never mind the agonizing sunburns that would follow—it was simply the cool thing to do. In fact, during the off-season I’d “sunbathe” under a sunlamp in my bedroom and sometimes fall asleep, which subsequently led to a couple of trips to the doctor for second-degree burns. And though I didn’t inherit my dad’s blue eyes or light brown hair, I did inherit a family history of skin cancer: My dad was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma in his mid-thirties. And now, with biopsy results in hand, the doctor says I have it too.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with more than 1 million new cases diagnosed each year. By age 65, nearly half of us will have weathered at least one case of it. The fact that I had the most common and least dangerous type—basal cell—brought me little comfort. Instead I was petrified, thinking about how my father had looked at my age, his complexion disfigured with blotches, scabs, and scars caused by numerous biopsies and treatments. As the dermatologist explained my treatment options, I silently prayed my fate would be different.
None of us, of course, can undo the damage wrought in our sun-worshipping youth. But it turns out there is a lot we can do to prevent further harm. And recent research underscores the need to take skin cancer prevention seriously: For reasons that researchers don’t fully understand, having skin cancer—even the less dangerous non-melanoma forms—seems to raise the risk of breast, lung, liver, and uterine cancers.
“Some people are genetically more cancer prone,” says Howard Murad, a Los Angeles dermatologist and author of Wrinkle-Free Forever: The 5-Minute 5-Week Dermatologist’s Program. “Having one kind increases the likelihood of developing another.”
The first line of defense against skin cancer, we know by now, is to protect your skin from the sun. Dermatologists recommend wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher every day, avoiding midday sun whenever possible, and covering up with long-sleeved clothing and hats.
But new research is showing that ...
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Dates: 9/8/2014 - 9/13/2014
Location: Hilton Hawaiian Village and Hawai'i Convention Center
1801 Kalakaua Avenue
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