Is Skin Cancer Common in Port Angeles, Washington?
Yes, skin cancer is common in Port Angeles, WA because skin cancer is quite common in America in general. In fact, about 25% of the adult population in the United States will have to figure out how to remove skin cancer at least once in their lives, and many people develop skin cancer multiple times. The causes of skin cancer have a bit to do with heredity but much greater determining factors are how often you are exposed to sunlight and how protected you are when in the sun. Even a few bad sunburns can damage your skin tissue’s DNA and make it much more likely you will get skin cancer later, so if you spent a lot of your youth in the sun, be mindful of getting regular skin cancer screenings in Port Angeles, WA from a skilled dermatologist. And conduct regular self exams as well.
As for the most common skin cancer types, those are basal cell carcinoma, the most common skin cancer, and squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common skin cancer. Together, these non-melanoma skin cancers constitute the most common type of cancer overall.
How Serious Is Basal Cell Carcinoma Skin Cancer?
To put things in perspective, non-melanoma skin cancer has an almost 100% survival rate when it is caught early on before significant spread and is promptly treated (that all being provided the patient has no major co-morbidities). Melanoma, on the other hand, is very aggressive and once it has begun to spread, the five-year survival rate begins to drop. This type of skin cancer accounts for only about 5% of all skin cancer illness yet is responsible for more than three quarters of skin cancer deaths.
Basal cell carcinoma skin cancer can be deadly if left fully unchecked, eventually spreading to other organs, but basal cell skin cancer spreads every slowly and is highly treatable when caught early. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) skin cancer spreads faster than basal cell carcinoma (BCC) but is also highly curable when caught early.
You can think of non-melanoma skin cancer like an ember smoldering in a forest. If you spot the ember and immediately douse it, then you have almost surely stopped the forest fire that could have spread. If you leave it to burn, you are potentially inviting disaster.
Basal and Squamous Cell Carcinoma Pictures and Symptoms
Non-melanoma skin cancer images will show you a host of different squamous and basal cell cancer symptoms, but keep in mind images of skin cancer may not present the exact way your own illness looks, so don’t write off an unusual area on your skin just because skin cancer pictures you see online or in a medical journal don’t match up.
Do watch out for irregular shaped and colored moles, sores that won’t heal, waxy or yellowed patches of skin, raised bumps that may be pink and shiny, and any red and angry looking lesions you can’t explain.
Noninvasive Skin Cancer Treatment in Port Angeles, WA
There are many options for skin cancer treatment in Port Angeles, WA. The greater northwest Washington region is home to many excellent dermatologists and cancer specialists who can work with you as you determine the best course of action given your squamous or basal cell prognosis, wether that be topical medications, laser surgery, cryosurgery, or Mohs surgery, the latter being what many skin cancer specialists consider the best skin cancer treatment for carcinomas in sensitive areas, like basal cell carcinoma on the nose, back or hands, or even the eyelids.
But the other leading option, one that like Mohs surgery achieves a 98% cure rate on the first round of treatments, is Superficial Radio Therapy, a skin cancer treatment so noninvasive patients don’t even need localized pain medications. Superficial Radio Therapy can be performed with the FDA cleared Sensus Healthcare SRT-100 device and the treatments take place in a doctor’s office and are completely outpatient. Most non-melanoma skin cancer patients who choose SRT as their skin cancer treatment will be cured fully within just a few treatments, and unlike with the use of more intense radiation used to target internal tumors, SRT has no side effects and does not damage other tissue in the body.
The SRT-100 device uses low doses of radiation focused entirely on the exterior of the skin, so it can eradicate a BCC or SCC without putting healthy tissue nearby at risk. Talk to your Port Angeles, WA skin cancer doctor about SRT as soon as you get a non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosis.