People.com recently revealed that Bruce Jenner has been diagnosed with and treated for skin cancer on his nose. Click to read article. The type of skin cancer is called basal cell carcinoma. It is not a form of melanoma. It's one of the three types of skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma).
And it's the most common type of skin cancer, in fact. According to the
Skin Cancer Foundation, an estimated 2.8 million are diagnosed annually
in the US (Click on their site for great info). It tends to show up on sun exposed areas, like the
nose, ears, and chest. Although it almost always is limited to the
skin, basal cell carcinoma can be locally destructive if not treated.
Depending on the type and location of the basal cell carcinoma,
different treatment options can be used. Superficial types may be
treated with a cream called imiquimod that is applied 5 times a week
for 6 weeks. Or, a scraping procedure called electrodessication and
curettage (ed&c) can be performed in the dermatologist's office.
Larger or infiltrative basal cells can be excised in the office under
local anesthesia by the dermatologist. Very large basal cells, or ones
located on the nose, lips, ears, or close to the eyes, where there is
not a lot of tissue available, may be removed by the Mohs procedure.
This is a special type of skin cancer surgery where tissue is removed
and checked under the microscope while the patient is still in the
office. Once the Mohs surgeon has determined that all the skin cancer
has been removed, the area is stitched up. Mohs surgery has a very high
cure rate. Usually dermatologists who perform this procedure have an
additional year of training after residency to become experts in Mohs. This is the treatment Bruce Jenner had.
Once someone has had one basal cell carcinoma, they are 50% more likely
to develop a second one. As this type of skin cancer is directly
related to sun exposure, protecting your skin from the sun is a great
way to prevent their development. Proper sunscreen use of a broad
spectrum UVA/UVB sunblock is essential. Clothing, such as hats and
shirts, that are specially treated to have a UPF (ultraviolet protection
factor) of 50+ can really help protect your skin from the sun.
Any bump that doesn't go away, bleeds, itches, crusts, or grows
needs to be seen by a dermatologist to make sure it's not a skin cancer
ASAP. Remember, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the
course of a lifetime. "Keep up" with of your skin - it's the only one you