One of the common forms of cancer is skin cancer. And as many of us look towards spring, medical experts at the Anderson Regional Cancer Center say it's important you take care of your skin.
WTOK staff members, Nick Adam, Angie Barker, and myself, are joining news director John Johnson in his Run for Cancer, to benefit the Anderson Cancer Patient Benevolence Fund
Most of our marathon training has been done outside. Even on cloudy days, the sun's rays beat down on our skin. And over time, oncologist Dr. John Voss says this could turn into skin cancer.
"It's definitely serious," said Dr. Voss.
Dr. Voss knows all too well that many people are looking forward to tan beach bodies, but he urges people to think twice about overdoing it.
"We know that blistering sun burns," said Voss. "The more they happen, then later in life, that is one of the biggest risk factors for melanoma. There are really three types of skin cancer, as you have melanoma, which is most aggressive, then you have what is called squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma. And most of the last two kind are not life-threatening; they are mostly cosmetic.'
So, this cancer expert is sending a friendly reminder to lather up with sunblock. The higher the SPF the better. He says you need a minimum of 15 and much higher for young children.
For those people who are starting to see issues with their skin, there are things to look for.
"In common language, you are looking for moles. Now a lot of people have moles," said Voss. "Things that make me think of melanomas are if the edges are zigzag. Most moles are plain circles. If the mole is changing, if it is bleeding, growing, if the color is changing from dark brown to black, you need to get it checked."
You can help assist cancer patients by supporting John's Run for Cancer by donating online. A link is provided below. Note: There is a line where you will need to specify that you are donating to John's run.
You may also buy special T-shirts designed for John's Run for Cancer. The proceeds also benefit the Anderson Cancer Center Patient Benevolence Fund.
They are black and come in all sizes. The cost is $20. You may purchase them at the Cancer Center, 1704 23rd Avenue, Meridian.