Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Skin Cancer Diagnosis for a Bride: Her advice during Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Piedmont Hospital Hosts Free Skin Cancer Screening

Every girl dreams of her perfect wedding day, including 27-year-old Brookhaven resident Jessica Cavey. She diligently checks items off of her wedding “to-do” list – photographer, caterer, flowers; but there is one item not on most brides’ lists – skin cancer treatment.

With her upcoming June wedding, Cavey was shocked at her diagnosis of basal skin cancer by Piedmont Hospital dermatologist, Jodi Ganz, M.D., in January of this year. Self-proclaimed a sun worshipper and tanning bed goddess, Cavey couldn’t imagine not being tan or in her words “having December skin.”

“I used to be the girl who went to tanning beds after lying out in the sun for hours,” said Cavey. “In high school, I would stay home from school the Friday before prom to lie out in the sun and then go to the tanning bed because I thought I looked thinner and healthier when I was tan.” Cavey now doesn’t leave her house without applying a minimum of SPF 30 sunscreen.

More than 90 percent of skin cancers are caused by sun exposure and more than 800,000 basal skin cancer diagnoses, such as Cavey’s, are made each year. With summer just around the corner, everyone needs to take precautions to protect their skin. Piedmont Hospital is hosting a free skin cancer screening Saturday, May 16, from 8 a.m. to noon on the 5th floor of the 77 Building at Piedmont Hospital 1968 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA 30309. Call 866-900-4321 for more information. Dermatologists and physician assistants will be screening “exposed skin” only, so wear appropriate attire, such as shorts and sleeveless shirts. Come by and pick-up free sun screen samples and register to win goodies and a complimentary beauty service package. Parking is available in the North Parking Deck behind the hospital.

“With careful inspection of the skin, most skin cancer can be found early and treated successfully,” said Dr. Ganz. “Early detection is key in the treatment process; however by taking simple sun safety precautions, many skin cancers can be prevented.”

Skin cancers are divided into two major groups. Cancers that start from the pigment-making cells of the skin (the melanocytes) are called melanomas. The second main type is called keratinocyte carcinomas or keratinocyte cancers because their cells look a lot like keratinocytes (the cells found most often in normal skin). Carcinoma is a medical word for a cancer that starts in a lining layer of cells such as the skin or the lining cells of the digestive system. There are many types of keratinocyte cancer, but the two most common types are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Cavey’s basal skin cancer was caught early and Dr. Ganz was able to treat her with a topical lotion used for approximately six weeks. With only minor itching, scabbing and soreness, the affected area healed quickly and now Cavey says “it’s hard to find the spot.”

“I want to tell my story in hopes of preventing a skin cancer diagnosis for other young women. From my experience, you think you look healthier and thinner when you lie out without sunscreen or go to the tanning bed, but it’s really only making you more unhealthy,” said Cavey. “It is not worth it in the long run.”
Community News You Can Use
Follow us on Twitter: @gafrontpage

No comments: