Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Did you guys miss me this weekend? I missed you too. I totally forgot to post because I was busy celebrating. My youngest turned 2 and I turned 29 again. I have lots of blog posts stocked up from Dr. Sandy and myself so get excited for the future of “the skinny on skin”. This week our newest Dermatologist at JD, Dr. Nelson is guest posting. He specializes in skin cancer surgery and is the perfect addition to the JD team. He has a beautiful wife, Ashley and two little, little ones. Did you see the newborn picture of his son Grant on our facebook? Want to meet him in person? Now is the time to call the clinic and let Dr. Nelson do your skin cancer check. It’s a great way to get to know him and welcome him and his family to Fort Smith. Plus, what better way to celebrate Melanoma Awareness Month than with a full body skin exam? While you’re here ask him what skin care products he uses, his skin is JD flawless. (#Brotox) Here is what Dr. Nelson has to tell us all about skin cancer…..

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. This month is dedicated to educating the public about the importance of skin cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.


Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with 3.5 million new cases diagnosed yearly. Approximately 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer during their lifetimes.  There are three major types of skin cancer:  Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), and Melanoma.


BCC and SCC are the two most common types, and have a very good prognosis if detected early. Left untreated, they will continue to grow and possibly spread.  Our clinic diagnoses and treats over 2,500 of these skin cancers in our community per year.


Melanoma is the 3rd most common type of skin cancer, with about 140,000 newly diagnosed melanomas per year.  Melanoma is the type of skin cancer that can spread and cause death.  We diagnose approximately one new patient with melanoma per week.


Some of the most common risk factors for skin cancer include exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds, a history of sunburns, and having light-colored skin. Thankfully skin cancer can be prevented in many cases by protecting their skin; this includes avoiding tanning beds, avoiding the mid-day sun, wearing wide brimmed hats, broad-spectrum sunscreens, sunglasses, and sun-protective clothing.


Dermatologists are the experts in skin cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatment. Every patient is unique, and treating their skin cancer treatment must be individualized.  Our team is highly trained in all aspects of skin cancer management and offer a full range of treatment options.


In May, dermatologists across the country will be offering free skin cancer screenings in their community. In the River Valley, Dr. Sandy Johnson and I will be offering free skin cancer screenings on May 1st and May 4th in conjunction with the Reynolds Cancer Support House.  You can contact the Reynolds Cancer Support House at 479-782-6302 for more information.


If you are unable to come to one of the free screenings, we would still encourage you to contact our office at 479-649-3376 to schedule your yearly skin cancer screening.


Garrett Nelson, MD

Board Certified Dermatologist

Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology



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