May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month! This year, dermatologist Emily Ruiz, MD, MPH, from Brigham and Women’s Mohs and Dermatologic Surgery Center at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, breaks down the warning signs that it might be time to see a dermatologist.
“Most non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSCs), which include squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas, are slow growing and can be cured with a minor surgical procedure,” says Dr. Ruiz. “However, some squamous cell carcinomas are more aggressive. We estimate that approximately the same number of individuals die each year from squamous cell carcinoma as do from melanoma. It is important to recognize features of squamous cell carcinomas that are associated with more aggressive disease.”
Dr. Ruiz says to look for these common signs associated with more aggressive skin cancers.
While most squamous cell carcinomas will not behave aggressive, Dr. Ruiz suggests routine skin evaluations by a dermatologist to help identify skin cancers earlier when they are easier to treat. “And, of course, don’t forget to help prevent skin cancers by wearing sunscreen and sun protective clothing!” she says.
To make an appointment with Dr. Emily Ruiz or another dermatologist at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, call 617-983-7500.
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