Spelling Out Skin Cancer

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If you haven’t already seen it all over our social media accounts, then you should know that May is…Skin Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), “It is estimated that 144,860 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the United States in 2016.” This shocking number should make you want to get smart about skin cancer ASAP! We have pulled information from the expert sites on skin cancer, as well as some tips from some of our very own physicians to quickly brief you on the important facts about this disease.  (more…)

Spring Break Sun Care

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Spring break is quickly approaching, if it hasn’t already come around for some of you. If you are planning on heading somewhere warmer, perhaps even tropical this post is especially for you. Here you’ll find some quick tips to consider before you leave. It’s easy to forget about skin care when you’re having fun, but hopefully we can convince you to think twice before passing up the sunscreen.

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It’s Time to See the Dermatologist

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For whatever the reason many people try to avoid going to the doctor, no matter the specialty. We get it, it’s not at the top of your list of things you want to do, but there are some cases in which it is necessary to visit the doctor.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), “Dermatologists diagnose and treat more than 3,000 different diseases”.

So when exactly should you be seeing the dermatologist? We’ve included some circumstances of when it would be in your best interest to seek the professional help of a dermatologist.

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Safe Tanning – Is There Such a Thing?

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There is no such thing as a healthy tan, at least not one caused by UV rays. Sun exposure is the leading cause of skin cancer which makes it one of the most preventable types of cancer.

So what is the safest way to bronze? Here are some tips on how to get a healthy glow after the pale of winter’s hibernation.

 

What are the latest products in self-tanning?

There are salon spray tans to at-home airbrush kits, self-tanner creams to rub on, and even Tan Towels, where color is applied with one body wipe and takes seconds for it to set in.  Products have come a long way from their original shades of Oompa-Loompa orange. The active ingredient is dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a mostly plant-derived simple carbohydrate that binds to proteins in the top layer of skin, causing it to darken or stain. Because the coloring process takes place only in the surface layers of the skin, the color lasts only as long as those layers stay on your body—five to seven days. After it sloughs off, it’s time for a reapplication. Most tanners still rely on DHA; however, some are also adding anti-aging and moisturizing elements.

Certain tanners advertise as moisturizers first and tanners second contain smaller traces of DHA that have a gradual but cumulative effect, producing a tan after repeated use.  Others are focusing on “antioxidants, paraben-free products, botanicals, and natural instant bronzers such as walnut shell and coffee bean extracts – even the stem cells of apples, which purport to have an anti-aging effect. And there’s one more big benefit; natural tanners tend to last longer than other tanners.

Are there any risks involved?

People who use self-tanners need to remember to practice proper sun protection. Unlike a natural tan, self-tanning provides little UV protection, so a fake tan requires real sunblock.

How dangerous is sun exposure?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than one million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year, outnumbering all other cancers combined. One in five Americans will develop the disease at some point. In a study conducted by New Age Skin Research Foundation and published in the journal of “Melanoma Research” found that frequency of applying sunscreen when patients went outdoors increased from 27 to 69%, after they diagnosed with malignant melanoma.

Prevention and early detection are critical: The five-year survival rate for people whose melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) is detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 98 percent. An estimated 76,250 new cases of melanoma will occur in the United States this year, according to the American Cancer Society. This is a significant rise of 6,020 cases compared to last year. The number of melanoma-related deaths rose as well, by almost 400 cases – from 8,790 deaths in 2011 to a predicted 9,180 deaths in 2012.

Who is at risk for melanoma?

It’s a myth that melanoma primarily affects older people: It remains the number one cancer affecting adults aged 25-29. A new study by the Skin Cancer Foundation has revealed an alarming rise in melanoma among people aged 18 to 39: over the past 40 years, rates of this potentially deadly skin cancer grew by 800 percent among young women and 400 percent among young men.

Are tanning beds really that bad?

Researchers speculate that the popularity of tanning beds may be one cause of these higher rates. The World Health Organization has declared indoor tanning devices to be cancer-causing agents that are in the same dangerous category as tobacco and arsenic: At least 31 states, including NY State, now restrict access to indoor tanning equipment either through banning their use by minors or requiring parental consent. Exposure to UV radiation from indoor tanning lamps has been linked to both melanoma and squamous cell cancer, and using them for the first time before age 35 increases melanoma risk by as much as 75 percent.

According to a recent study conducted by Harvard Medical School and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, there is a significantly higher risk of basal cell carcinoma among people who used tanning beds during high school and college compared with tanning bed use at ages 25 to 35 years. New research confirms that those who make just four visits to a tanning booth per year can increase their risk for melanoma by 11 percent, and their risk for the two most common forms of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, by 15 percent.

The damage from the UV radiation of tanning beds and the sun is cumulative and often irreversible. The younger people are when they start to tan, the higher their risk of developing skin cancer in their lifetimes. So if you must have a tan, do it the fake way.

Come Get Your Yearly Skin Cancer Screening!

Regardless of your tanning habits, yearly skin cancer screenings are crucial to detect the presence of skin cancer in its earliest, most curable stages. Contact us today to schedule your skin cancer screening. At Advanced Dermatology, PC, our board-certified dermatologists are experts at diagnosing and treating skin cancer and other conditions of the hair, skin and nails. In the event of skin cancer, we offer the latest treatment methods, including Mohs surgery by our board-certified Mohs surgeons. Our conveniently located offices welcome patients from Queens (Bayside, Flushing), Long Island – Nassau/Suffolk (Roslyn Heights, West Islip, Commack, East Setauket), New York City (Upper West Side, Upper East Side), Brooklyn (Park Slope) Westchester County (Ossining, Briarcliff Manor), Bergen County, NJ, Union County, NJ, and all surrounding areas.

Patch Treatment for Basal Cell Carcinoma?

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, with roughly one million new cases diagnosed each year in the United States. It is not typically fatal; however, treatment is still necessary, sometimes causing scarring. A study was recently conducted in which basal cell carcinoma patients simply wore a patch containing phosphorus-32, or P-32, over their tumors several times a week. Isn’t this too simple for something as complex as cancer?

80% Success Rate

The study followed ten patients between the ages of 32 and 74, all of whom had basal cell carcinoma on their face. Each patient was given a P-32 patch to wear over their tumor for three hours every three days over the course of seven days. Biopsies were then taken three months later, with eight of the patients showing zero signs of malignancy. Those eight patients remained cancer-free three years later. Further research is in progress to determine whether the P-32 patch can become a widespread treatment option for basal cell carcinoma.

If You See Something, Say Something!

Abnormalities on the your skin should never be ignored, as they may be a sign of skin cancer. At Advanced Dermatology, PC, our board-certified dermatologists are experts at diagnosing and treating skin cancer, offering the latest treatment methods. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about the health of your skin. Our ten conveniently located offices welcome patients from Queens, Long Island (Roslyn/Albertson, West Islip, Commack, East Setauket), New York City, Bergen County, NJ, Union County, NJ, and all surrounding areas.