We already know that if you have a family history of melanoma – for example, if you have a parent or sibling with melanoma – you are at a higher risk for getting melanoma yourself.
But, there is a new study that shows you might also be at a higher risk for other forms of cancer as well, including basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. These types of skin cancer can look completely different than melanoma! What do these types of cancer look like?
Basal cell: This is the most common type of skin cancer and although it most common in people with fair skin, it can occur in people with darker skin tones. BBCs are common on your head, neck, and arms, but you should have your whole body checked. Early diagnosis is so important because this type of cancer can spread into surrounding tissue and bones.
Squamous cell carcinoma: This is the second most common form of skin cancer. Again, it is also more common in people with lighter skin, but can absolutely develop in people with dark skin. Look for a red, firm bump or a sore that heals and then re-opens. I see these in my office frequently. SCC can grow deep in to your skin and even spread through your body if left undetected!
The take home message – be sure to tell your derm about your family history of skin cancer so that your derm is on the lookout not only for melanoma, but for ALL types of skin cancer!
Let’s keep our skin healthy and sun safe – summer is all about fun in the sun, but there are some very accessible and easy ways to stay healthy this summer!
Here are some helpful links: