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May Is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

shutterstock_412264318Hearing your doctor say that you have cancer can be terrifying. Skin cancer will strike one in every five Americans during their lifetime, but thankfully, most skin cancers may be safely removed within the confines of a doctor’s office. Here are some quick facts about skin cancer, how to minimize your risk, and how skin cancer reconstruction can improve your appearance after skin cancer removal.

Skin Cancer Quick Facts

  • Skin cancer will strike one in five Americans at some point during their lifetime.
  • Every 52 minutes, someone dies from melanoma.
  • With early detection, the five-year survival rate for melanoma is 98 percent.
  • More people have been diagnosed with skin cancer over the past 30 years than all other cancers combined.
  • 86 to 90 percent of skin cancers are caused by the sun.
  • Having had five or more sunburns in your lifetime doubles your risk of melanoma.
  • Over 419,000 cases of skin cancer each year in the U.S. are linked to indoor tanning.
  • Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer and, while rarely fatal, can be highly disfiguring.

How to Minimize Your Risk

In honor of May as Skin Cancer Awareness Month, raising awareness may help to minimize skin cancer risk and save lives. One of the best ways to minimize your risk is to apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher each day. Doing this will decrease skin aging by 24 percent and will also reduce the risk of squamous cell carcinoma by 40 percent and the risk of melanoma by 50 percent. In addition, foregoing any indoor tanning will help to significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.

Skin Cancer Reconstruction

If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, one of your primary concerns may be whether or not skin cancer removal will leave you disfigured or horribly scarred. In many cases, skin cancer can be safely removed with inconspicuous scarring and minimal chances of cancer recurrence. If skin cancer must be removed from the sensitive areas of the face, Dr. Mesbahi works closely with the Mohs surgeon to perform skin cancer reconstruction. Dr. Mesbahi specializes in procedures such as local tissue transfer that can minimize the defects and conceal the scars after skin cancer removal. Skin cancer reconstruction can minimize disfigurement and help you continue to look your best after the diagnosis and removal of skin cancer.

Dr. Mesbahi is a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in facial surgery and cancer reconstruction. To schedule your consultation with him today, please call (703) 287-8277 or fill out our online contact form at your earliest convenience.