Arizona Bioindustry Association (AZBio) is a paid advertiser of Sonoran Living.
According to the University of Arizona Cancer, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. It is estimated that more than 3.5 million new cases are diagnosed each year - more than all other cancers combined. One in five Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetimes. Skin cancers can affect your appearance as well as your health.
Protecting your skin with sunscreen, wearing hats and protective clothing, and staying out of the sun at peak times is sun smart. The Skin Cancer Institute at the Arizona Cancer Center recommends that we all be an ACE:
A - Avoid the sun between 10am & 4pm
C - Cover up with sun safe clothing and SPF 30+
E - Examine your skin regularly for anything unusual
Checking your skin regularly is the best way to find skin cancer before it becomes a serious problem. Most of the brownish spots on your skin - freckles, moles, and birthmarks - are normal, but some may be skin cancers. It is important to look for changes in these spots or the appearance of new spots when checking your skin.
Here in Arizona, where the sun is especially strong, it is also important to schedule regular skin exams with your dermatologist. These healthcare providers are trained to look for potential problem spots and can often address them in one visit.
If something looks questionable, your dermatologist will take a small skin sample or biopsy. Pathogists will them determine if the sample is benign (non-cancerous) or a form of cancer. The most common form of skin cancer is nonmelanoma skin cancer. The two major types of nonmelanoma skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma SCC).
The most serious form of skin cancer is melanoma. Melanoma skin cancer occurs much less often than the nonmelanoma skin cancers but causes more deaths. Over 96,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed this year, and over 7,000 people will die from the disease.
Castle Biosciences is a company in Arizona that has developed new genomic based tests that provide doctors with clinically actionable, tumor-specific genomic information to enable more accurate treatment plan decisions that can lead to better outcomes for patients.
The Skin Cancer Institute at the Arizona Cancer Center and Castle Biosciences are two great examples of Arizona organizations that are working to keep us all healthy and to provide innovative solutions to health challenges. Learn more at www.AZBio.org/AZAdvances.