MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Thursday in every newscast, News 5 is taking a closer look at skin cancer. It can show up anywhere on your body, but some areas are more prone to it.
Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells, usually as the result of damage from UV rays. The damage triggers mutations that lead those particular skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.
The three main types of skin cancer are: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Board Certified Dermatologist Amy Morris tells Cherish Lombard that it affects men and women differently. It’s more common to see it on women’s legs and arms, and on men’s back and trunk.
Dr. Morris said, “Currently melanoma is still on the rise. Out of all the other cancers, melanoma is still increasing in incidence in the population in the United States.”
Squamous cell carcinoma is more common than melanoma, but less invasive.
It typically affects the: face, ears, lips, arms, legs, and tops of hands.
“Squamous cells can invade, but they usually don’t metastasize very often. If someone did have a squamous cell on their lower lip or if they were immunocompromised or if they were a transplant patient, they too can spread throughout the body,” said Dr. Morris.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. The most common sites for Basal cell carcinoma are the: face, ears, neck, scalp, back, and shoulders.
“There’s some skin cancers that do not metastasize or spread through your body. That’s a basal cell carcinoma,” said Dr. Morris.
Renee Kirby developed basal cell carcinoma as an adult.
She said, “About 5 years ago in one of my exams, I had a spot right here on my eyebrow that looked like a sore but it turned out to be a basal cell cancer.”
So she went to a surgical dermatologist.
“They’ll cut a portion, put it under the microscope, check it, and then they continue to cut until they know that they’ve got all that cancer,” said Kirby.
She tells News 5 that these days, she’s much more careful.
She said, “To me that was very frightening because it’s right here on my face, you know. And I’m thinking, oh my gosh, I’m going to have this big hole in my face. I’m very careful now, wearing my sunscreen, my husband’s got me a great big sun hat, I wear my sunglasses, and wear sleeves when I go outside.”
She says she wishes she could go back in time, and tell herself one thing…
“I would say, lily-white skin is so beautiful, and had I to do it all over again, I definitely would have worn sunscreen and wore a hat and just protected my skin because now I’m suffering the consequences, Kirby told News 5.
According to Dr. Morris, there’s more melanoma seen in men than women right now.