May is Brain Tumor Awareness and Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month
Brain Tumor- An abnormal growth of tissue in the brain.
Skin Cancer- Uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells
Here is a brief summary of facts about Brain Tumors:
- Unlike other tumors, brain tumors rarely metastasize (spread) outside of the brain
- There are over 120 different types of brain tumors
- A tumor can increase pressure in the brain, shift brain or push it against the skull and/ or invade and damage nerves and healthy brain tissue.
Here is a brief summary of facts about Skin Cancer:
- Most common form of cancer
- Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer the the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
- 1in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
- Most skin cancers are caused from UV rays from the sun.
Signs and Symptoms of Brain Tumors:
- A new seizure in an adult
- Gradual loss of movement or sensation in arm or leg.
- Unsteadiness or imbalance, especially if it’s associated with headache.
- Loss of vision in one or both eyes, especially if the vision lost is more peripheral.
- Double vision, especially if associated with headaches.
- Hearing loss with or without dizziness.
- Speech difficulty of gradual onset.
- Nausea and vomiting.
Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer:
- Actinic Keratosis:
- Scaly or crusty growths caused by damage from UV rays from the sun.
- Growths commonly show up in sun exposed areas, such as the face, bald scalp, lips and the backs of hands.
- Growths are often elevated, rough in texture and resemble warts
- Often become red, but some will be tan, pink, red and or flesh toned.
- Basil Cell Carcinoma:
Looks like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps or scars.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma- Uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells arising in the squamous cells ( upper layers of skin).
- Looks like scaly red patches, open sores, elevated growths with central depression or warts.
- They may crust or bleed.
- Dysplastic Nevi ( Atypical Moles):
- Unusual benign moles that resemble melanoma.
V. Melanoma: Most dangerous form of skin cancer.
- Often resemble moles, some develop from moles.
- Majority of melanomas are black or brown but can be skin colored, pink, red, purple, blue or white.
- ABCDE’s of Melanoma: A- Asymmetry B- Borders- Borders of early melanoma are uneven. C- Color- Variety of color is a warning signal. D- Diameter- Melanomas are usually larger in diameter than an eraser on a pencil. E- Evolving- Any change in size, shape, color, elevation or another trait or any new symptoms such as bleeding, itching or crusting.
- Types of Melanoma:
- Superficial Spreading Melanoma- Most common type of melanoma. It grows on the top layer of the skin for a fairly long time before penetrating more deeply. It is usually discolored patches with irregular borders. This type usually is diagnosed in younger people.
- Lentigo Maligna- Also remains close to the skins surface. Often has a tan, brown or dark brown discoloration. This type is usually diagnosed in the elderly. It is referred to as Lentigo Maligna Melanoma when it becomes more invasive.
- Acral Lentiginous Melanoma- Also spreads superficially before penetrating more deeply. Appears as a black or brown discoloration under nails, soles of feet and palms of hands. Most common in African Americans and Asians.
- Nodular Melanoma- Usually invasive. Malignancy is recognized when it becomes a bump. It’s usually black but occasionally blue, gray, white, tan, brown, red or skin tone.
Prevention – Skin Cancer:
- Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.
- Seek shade especially between the hours of 10 am – 4pm.
- Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
- Cover up.
- Apply 1oz of sunscreen to body 30 mins before going outside. Reapply every 2 hrs or immediately after swimming or sweating excessively.
- Examine skin head to toe every month
- See physician every year for professional skin examination.
- Keep newborns out of the sun.
Helpful links for more information:
Also if you haven’t already read the previous posts please take the time out to go read!