Non-melanoma skin cancer is caused almost entirely by exposure to UV light, whether from the sun or from the use of tanning beds. Ultraviolet light damages the very DNA of skin cells; a sun burn is not a burn as you get from heat, but is in fact radiation damage to the skin. Just a few bad sunburns in a lifetime can greatly increase the chance that you will develop skin cancer, so wearing sunblock and protective clothing, applying UV-blocking window tint to your home and vehicles, and staying in the shade whenever you can is imperative for helping you avoid skin cancer.
Your family’s history of cancer may show a predisposition to developing skin cancer based on your genes, but far and away the main deciding factors are your own lifestyle. How carefully you avoid sun damage even starting early in life is the primary factor that will dictate whether or not you get skin cancer. And with the long, hot summers in Reno, Nevada skin cancer risks are greatly elevated for any who don’t heed that advice.
Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in America overall. Some one in four Americans will develop skin cancer at some point, and about four million cases of basal cell carcinoma and one million cases of squamous cell carcinoma are reported each year. While non-melanoma skin cancer usually affects older Americans who have had more years of exposure to the sun, it can occur even on much younger people who have gotten a few burns. Skin cancer is more common for people with lighter skin coloring and for people who live at higher altitudes where there is less atmosphere to block UV light, and genetics may slightly predispose some people to skin cancer, but the short story is that anyone can get skin cancer, so everyone should get regular skin cancer checks. Spending less than an hour a year at a Reno, NV dermatologist could make the difference between you catching skin cancer early and getting it treated or dealing with a much more involved and dangerous disease as it starts to spread.
Melanoma skin cancer almost always presents itself in the form of a new mole that grows and changes rapidly and that has unusual coloring, borders, and an odd shape. Non-melanoma skin cancers, on the other hand, present in myriad ways, some of which look nothing like one another. So if you see a few photos of skin cancer symptoms, know that you may very well have a carcinoma even if your skin issue looks nothing like the skin cancer images you see online.
The most common symptoms of non-melanoma skin cancer are flaky waxy patches of skin that slough off at times, unexplained sores that don’t heal on their own, raised shiny bumps with a pearlescent sheen, and odd lesions often found on the nose or ears that fester indefinitely.
If you have these or other odd skin conditions that don’t quickly resolve themselves, get to a Reno skin cancer specialist at the soonest possibility.
There are many excellent skin cancer dermatologists in Reno, Nevada so don’t worry about singling out one specific Reno dermatologist over another. Instead, make an appointment with a respected skin cancer doctor near me right away and get a diagnosis. Time is your and your doctor’s best ally here; the sooner you have your skin cancer prognosis the sooner you can commence a skin cancer treatment plan that should see you cured quickly.
Of the many treatments Reno, NV skin cancer doctors can offer their patients, many agree that Superficial Radiation Therapy, abbreviated as SRT, is the best choice. SRT can be performed by any qualified dermatologist thanks to compact hardware like the FDA cleared SRT-100 device from Sensus Healthcare, a portable unit that delivers concentrated doses of radiation that destroy the DNA of cancer cells, stopping their mitosis (cellular division that leads to spread) and killing the cancer off. The dead malignant tissue then sloughs away leaving only healthy tissue behind.
SRT is a very safe skin cancer treatment because the radiation only penetrates down a few millimeters into the skin, leaving healthy tissue untouched. It is an outpatient procedure that is so noninvasive and minimally painful that neither pain management medication or wound care are needed save for in very rare cases.