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!