Don’t Fall Prey To Too Many Rays
The sun is out and pool season is nearly upon us. With the ending of school and beginning of summer, everyone loves spending more time outside, soaking up the rays. It’s easy to get excited about the long, sun-filled days, but it’s important to remember the risks that can come with too much sun exposure. Dr. Scott Grevey, M.D., and his expert team at Dermatology & Surgery of Southern Ohio remind us that May is National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), cancers of the skin are the most common of all types of cancer, with about 3.3 million Americans being diagnosed with skin cancer each year. Additionally, ACS estimates there are more than one million unreported cases of non-melanoma cancers annually in the U.S.
“Detection is a critical factor in the successful treatment of skin cancer. Skin cancers that are not readily identified or properly treated can often lead to much larger surgeries and the potential for greater complications,” Dr. Grevey warns.
He recommends an annual skin check for most patients; however, if there is a personal or family history of skin cancer, that frequency should increase to every six months. Dr. Grevey encourages all his patients to become familiar with their skin by performing monthly self-skin exams.
“Melanoma or atypical moles often will present as an irregular pigmentation and generally there are subtle changes that frequently go undetected. Non-Melanoma skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, often will present as redness or raised bumps on the skin or a sore that doesn’t want to heal,” Dr. Grevey explains. “Any non-healing sore of the skin should be evaluated to rule out cancer.”
While it’s smart to keep a diligent eye out for changes to your own skin, dermatologists are trained in the identification and advanced treatments for skin cancers. “Most patients are unaware of the fact they have a precancerous or cancerous spot,” Dr. Grevey says. “It usually requires a trained professional to identify the early and subtle findings of a developing skin cancer.”
Not only should skin cancer be a concern, but chronic UV exposure can lead to additional problems like premature aging of the skin.
“Much of what we as dermatologists do today is trying to fend off the aging process,” Grevey says.
Grevey, Martha Hickmann, M.D., and the team at Dermatology & Surgery are expanding to meet the growing needs of our community. Nurse Practitioner Kristen Borchelt has joined the practice with nearly 25 years of experience in the medical field.
“We are very excited and feel she is a great addition to our team,” Dr. Grevey says. “Kristen is very meticulous and provides a very comprehensive skin evaluation.”
As a West Chester resident himself, Dr. Grevey enjoys working within his own community and has been providing comprehensive dermatologic and cosmetic care for more than twenty years. For tips on how to be safer in the sun this summer, visit SkinCancer.org/Prevention.