Skin Cancer

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Have you seen this article by Paul Fassa that has been all over Facebook about skin cancer and sunscreen? When you see things like this do you ever become curious and wonder if its true?  In this case, I couldn't resist. Is there really some new piece of research out there that turns everything I know about skin cancer and sunscreen on its head? In my world, this would be a big deal. So I took a look at the article and the actual research article it purports to cite: joim12251.  The study involved following about 30,000 Swedish women, recruited from 1990-1992. ...

With summer just around the corner in Seattle, this is a great time of the year to start thinking about sun protection. Everyone knows that you should go to the tanning parlor and get a good base tan before you go on vacation to someplace sunny, because then you won't get burned on vacation. And everyone knows that it's OK to tan as much as you want, even every day, just as long as you don't get burned. And of course, tanning is by far the most effective way to get Vitamin D. With all of this good news about...

Ever wonder if you should worry about skin cancer since it rains in Seattle all the time? Have you heard that tanning beds are a safe, effective way to get Vitamin D? Procrastinating about having a funny spot checked out because it can always be cut off at any time anyway? Still using Coppertone SPF8? Common skin cancer myths are dispelled, giving you information that can help save you from getting basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, or melanoma....

Dermatologists have a few tools in their medical bag when it comes to solving the mystery of  lesions on the body.  Sometimes there is confusion as to why one type of biopsy is used over another.  (In fact, today's post was inspired by to a curious patient!)   So, what's the deal with biopsies? There are two ways to biopsy lesions to ensure that they are not melanoma- excisional biopsy and incisional biopsy. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC), British Association of Dermatologist, and many other professional groups have stated that the...

1. Tanning is ok if I don’t get burned. Myth Blistering sunburns are a well-known melanoma risk factor.  Somehow, this has led to claims that tanning without burning is safe. But just like unicorns, "safe" tanning is a myth.  Cumulative sun exposure, whether a burn develops or not, is also a melanoma risk factor, as well as a risk factor for non-melanoma skin cancers. 2. Tanning is a natural defense that will protect me from further burns. Part Fact, mostly Myth The base than hypothesis. The first part of this is true.  Tanning is a defensive response.  The stimulus for tanning is mutation of your body’s...

You don't have to give up vacations in Hawaii or fear the outdoor activities that you enjoy. You simply need to take precautions to protect yourself. Realistically, I don’t expect anyone to be perfect and have been burned myself, but these measures WILL make a difference that translates into a decreased risk of skin cancer. ...

Sometimes when patients ask me if they need to avoid the sun because they’ve been diagnosed with a skin cancer, I tell them in a somewhat joking tone “Sunscreen works”. We tested this on a recent family vacation to Hawaii. We stayed at a hotel that has its own beach and spent 3-5 hours on the beach or in the pool everyday. None of us got burned. None of us even got a tan! We had a lot of fun and have no worries that we’ve increased our risk or our kids’ risk of...

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