Dr. Sandy has done it again. I absolutely love when she guest posts on the skinny on skin. This blog makes you go hmmmmm. Then makes you want a skin cancer full body exam. Go ahead, you’re intrigued, read on……
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is important since breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women.
Did you know however that skin cancer affects 1 in 5 people (men and women)?
Did you also know that melanoma is the most common form of cancer in women ages 15-29 years?
Did you know that one American dies approximately every hour from melanoma?
Whether or not you already knew all of this, you may find more about skin cancer and other skin cancer statistics on our website www.johsondermatology.com as well as the American Academy of Dermatology’s website www.aad.org. You will also find other helpful information about prevention and treatment of skin cancer. We take skin cancer prevention and treatment seriously at Johnson Dermatology. We still hold true to the vision that Dr Brad and I created when we opened the clinic in 2006 “Specializing in Skin Cancer while providing comprehensive skin care”.
Time for more questions—
Did you know that Dr Brad was the first fellowship trained skin cancer dermatologic surgeon in the region—including Ft Smith and NWA?
Did you know that every year since we opened in 2006, we have offered and will continue to offer free skin cancer screenings?
Did you know that Dr Nelson joined the JD team in 2016 because he also believes in our mission and vision and wants to offer the highest quality care to patients, especially patients with skin cancer?
Did you know that the number of patients with skin cancers and melanomas seen at our clinic have steadily increased in the past few years?
Here are some more sobering statistics about skin cancer at Johnson Dermatology.
The following are how many patients at our clinic were diagnosed with melanoma
In 2014, 35 patients were diagnosed with melanoma.
In 2015, 48 patients were diagnosed with melanoma.
In 2016, 48 patients were diagnosed with melanoma.
In 2017 (January through September), 47 patients were diagnosed with melanoma.
The following are how many specialized skin cancer surgeries with frozen sections were performed at our clinic for the same time periods.
In 2014, 1220 surgeries were performed at JD.
In 2015, 1339 surgeries were performed at JD.
In 2016, 1612 surgeries were performed at JD.
In 2017 (January through September) 1364 surgeries were performed at JD.
These specialized skin cancer surgeries are performed under local anesthesia at our clinic by Drs Brad and Nelson. They cut out the skin cancer with the smallest amount of normal skin around and under the tumor then gives that tissue to our amazing in clinic lab team who processes the tissue into frozen sections that Drs Nelson or Brad look at with the microscope. If they got all of the cancer cells then they close up the surgical wound as skintastically as possible. If there is a small piece of cancer left anywhere, they go back and remove some more tissue from that area and repeat the process until there are no more visible cancer cells. It is because of this tenacity that Mohs surgery has cure rates of 95-99% as compared with 90% with excision. Because we specialize in skin cancer, we offer not only Mohs surgery but we also offer excision, electrodessication and curettage (ED&C), creams, photodynamic therapy, chemical peels, laser, etc for skin cancers and actinic keratosis (pre cancers). When looking for a skin cancer surgeon, training and experience of the surgeon as well as of the lab team is important. Lisa, who now manages our lab team of 6 full time people and some helpers, has been working in the lab for more than 10 years. She and the team are skintastic and work extremely closely with Drs Brad and Nelson as well as with Dr Amy. Dr Amy is a board certified dermatopathologist extraordinaire on the JD team with more than 20 years of experience.
I know if you are reading this, then I am probably preaching to the choir. However, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Get your birthday suit checked by your dermatologist at least yearly. Do self skin exams monthly. There is research that shows that having a significant other who helps do your skin exams also helps to catch skin cancers early. Also please try to prevent skin cancers and premature aging by using a sun block with antioxidants that is also broad spectrum against UVA/UVB/IR daily; using retinol nightly to reverse the damage caused during the day; wearing your sun hat, sun glasses and sun protective clothing; seeking shade; avoiding the peak sun hours of 10 AM to 4 PM; and if want to take it a step further consider taking Heliocare or Niacin. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Samira will help you schedule you an appointment to have your spot(S) checked and/or to have your entire skin checked.
In summary, the skin is the largest organ of the body and your window to the world. Protect your tatas but also protect your skin.
Stay skintastic, Dr.Sandy.