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5 Tips on Basal Cell Skin Cancer, From a Dermatologist:

Did you know that upwards of 3 million Americans will be diagnosed with Basal Cell Skin Cancer in 2020, with over 2,000 fatalities? Fortunately, when spotted early, this type of skin cancer can be effectively treated by a minor outpatient surgery, before it spreads.

Let me share with you 5 important tips on Basal Cell Skin Cancer, from my perspective as a practicing Dermatologist.

First, the highest risk individuals for skin cancer are those who freckle or burn easily, those with blond or red hair, those with prior severe sunburns, and those who love the sun. But really everyone is at risk for skin cancer. It’s possible that those who tan rather than burn are even at higher risk, because they like to be outdoors.

Second, know what to watch for: enlarging, changing skin lesions, especially those with color changes or those that bleed or scab. Basal Cell Skin Cancer often has a waxy, translucent quality, being flesh-colored, pink, beige, or even brown or black. Basal Cell Skin Cancer is most common on sun-exposed areas, like the face, neck, back, and chest, being more common in people above 30 years old. The person in the photo above has several Basal Cell Skin Cancers.

Thirdly, skin cancers can be prevented by use of broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30 or higher, applied every 90 minutes when outside between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM, between March and November. Sunscreens are now available as creams, lotions, and sprays. And don’t forget to screen your kids! A personal favorite – now available from Big River Silk™ Skincare, of which I am the President - is Vanicream® Sunscreen Sport SPF 35 (4 oz: $17.95). Big River Silk Skincare also manufactures and distributes Anti-wrinkle Creams – the GlycoShea™ Facial&Neck Cream and GlycoShea™ Hand&Body Cream (, 1-901-753-0168).

Fourthly, many skin cancers are first detected by a person’s own family member. Why don’t you get your whole family completely undressed, and do a comprehensive skin check yourself? You can find excellent photos of what to look at the Skin Cancer Foundation web site,

Fifthly, don’t be afraid! Basal Cell Skin Cancer can be most easily treated if caught early, with a removal (excision) under local anesthetic, out-patient. If the skin cancer is in an area which requires removal of a minimal amount of skin , like the eye area, or the nose, many Dermatologists including myself use what’s called “Mohs surgery,” whereby we can check the edges or margins of the specimen removed right in the office, at the time of surgery.

My own Dermatology practice since 1993 is with Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates (; 1-901-753-01680), but you can find a Dermatologist in your own neighborhood by going to the American Academy of Dermatology web site,, then plugging your zip code into the “Find a Dermatologist” tab. The good news is that early detection definitely saves lives.

George Woodbury Jr. M.D.

Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates (

Big River Silk Skincare Inc. (

8143 Walnut Grove Road

Cordova TN 38018 (07/19/2020)

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