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Know the ABCs of Skin Cancer

Know the ABCs of Skin CancerAbout one in five Americans is likely to develop skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), making it the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Generally, it is highly treatable; however, it should be taken seriously and you should seek a medical evaluation if you notice a suspicious lesion or mark anywhere on your skin. The good news is that skin cancer is also the most preventable cancer. In fact, research indicates that protecting your skin before you turn 18 can cut your risk of some types of skin cancer by as much as 78%.

There are three main types of skin cancer – basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma, which is the most serious type. Basal cell skin cancer is the most prevalent and least dangerous type of skin cancer. It generally appears on the head, neck or upper torso and it grows slowly. Spots, blemishes, freckles and moles are signs of sun-damaged skin. They are usually harmless, but if you notice them changing, see a doctor.

While not as dangerous as melanoma, squamous cell skin cancer can spread to other parts of the body over time. It usually appears as a thickened, red, scaly spot that may bleed easily, crust or ulcerate. It is generally found on those areas of the skin that are most often exposed to the sun.

Risks and Warning Signs of Skin Cancer
Most moles, brown spots and other growths on the skin are usually harmless; however, it’s a good idea to have an annual skin check by a professional healthcare provider. Older adults, people who are fair-skinned or those who have a lot of moles are generally at greater risk, so it’s important to know your skin well and recognize any changes that you see on your body.

Here is an easy way to recognize if a mole or other skin lesion may be cancerous – just remember the ABCs of skin cancer:

Asymmetry: one half of the mole doesn’t match the other
Border: is irregular
Color: is not uniform
Diameter: greater than 6 mm (about the size of a pencil eraser)
Evolving: size, shape or color changes

With all types of cancer, including skin cancer, early detection and diagnosis can make a big difference in outcomes. If you suspect that you may have skin cancer, have your physician check it out immediately. Most skin cancers are easily treated and often cured; and for those more serious types, such as melanoma, the earlier it is discovered and treatment begins, the better the outcome.

World-Class Cancer Treatment, Close to Home
Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) has a statewide network of expert, Board-certified physicians who bring world‐class cancer treatments to local communities, both large and small, in locations throughout Florida. FCS is also a strategic partner of the Sarah Cannon Research Institute, one of the leading clinical trial organizations in the world. This alliance provides FCS patients access to the newest, most innovative and most promising new treatments.

Florida Cancer Specialists treats patients with all types of cancer, and offers a number of services, including an in-house specialty pharmacy and pathology lab, financial counselors at every location and 24/7 access to care managers, who help deliver the most advanced and personalized care in your local community.

Bonita Springs
9776 Bonita Beach Rd SE
Suite 201A
Bonita Springs, Florida 34135

Cape Coral Cay West
1708 Cape Coral Pkwy West
Suite 10
Cape Coral, FL 33914

Cape Coral Cancer Center
1030 Commerce Creek Blvd
Cape Coral, FL 33909

Fort Myers Colonial
8931 Colonial Center Drive
Suite 300
Fort Myers, FL 33905

Fort Myers Cancer Center
8260 Gladiolus Dr
Fort Myers, FL 33908

Bonita Springs
9776 Bonita Beach Rd SE
Suite 201A
Bonita Springs, Florida 34135

Cape Coral Cay West
1708 Cape Coral Pkwy West
Suite 10
Cape Coral, FL 33914

Cape Coral Cancer Center
1030 Commerce Creek Blvd
Cape Coral, FL 33909

Fort Myers Colonial
8931 Colonial Center Drive
Suite 300
Fort Myers, FL 33905

Fort Myers Cancer Center
8260 Gladiolus Dr
Fort Myers, FL 33908

North Port
3085 Bobcat Village Center Road
North Port, FL 34288

Port Charlotte
22395 Edgewater Drive
Port Charlotte, FL 33980

Venice Island
901 South Tamiami Trail
Venice, FL 34285

Venice Healthpark
836 Sunset Lake Blvd,
Suite 101
Venice, FL 34292

Englewood
714 Doctors Drive
Englewood, FL 34223-3992

Sarasota Downtown
1970 Golf Street
Sarasota, FL 34236

Sarasota Cattlemen
600 North Cattlemen Rd,
Suite 200
Sarasota, FL 34232

Lakewood Ranch
6310 Health Parkway,
Suite 200
Bradenton, FL 34202-5177

Bradenton East
401 Manatee Ave, Suite B
Bradenton, FL 34208

Bradenton West
2401 60th Street Court West
Bradenton, FL 34209

For more information, visit FLCancer.com

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