Page 10 - Scene Magazine 45-08 August 2020
P. 10

  Health Scene
Medical Oncologist, Bronson Oncology & Hematology Specialists
    It’s important to know how to identi- fy when something on your skin isn’t right. There are also steps you can take to reduce your risk.
Identifying a healthy mole from
a cancerous mole. Most moles are benign. This means they are harmless and do not cause cancer. However, sometimes, moles grow and become ma- lignant. This means they are cancerous and need to be removed. It is important to keep an eye on all moles. Detect-
ing malignant moles in early stages of growth can help catch skin cancers, like: • Basal cell carcinoma
• Squamous cell carcinoma
• Melanoma
Get your moles checked out.
Moles appear on the body when clusters of cells gather in one area, instead of spreading apart. Moles are often small and appear darker than
the rest of the skin. Most moles are no cause for concern. In fact, most people have between 10 and 40 moles. Al- though they can grow at any point
Spotting unhealthy moles can help detect skin cancer early. If you no-
tice a new mole that does not seem normal, get it looked at right away
by your primary care doctor or a dermatologist. Don’t wait for more advanced symptoms to present them- selves, such as pain, itching, swelling, or oozing. Don’t have a primary care doctor? Call a Bronson Care Advisor at (269) 341-7788 or visit bronsonhealth. com/careadvisor.
in life, most moles appear at birth and in young kids, as well as young adults. Pre-existing moles can also darken or become more noticeable from sun exposure.
“When monitoring your moles, look for color, shape, and size,” explains
Dr. Zeeshan Tariq, a medical oncologist at Bronson Oncology & Hematology Specialists. “These are some of the most common triggers for spotting an abnor- mal mole.”
Treating cancerous moles.
If caught early enough, surgery to remove the malignant mole may be
the only treatment you need. If the can- cer has grown and/or spread beyond the skin, you may need more advanced care – like chemotherapy or radiation.
More sun, more moles. The best way to avoid moles, especially those that can be cancerous, is to protect yourself from the sun. After being in isolation for the past few months, get- ting outside for some fresh air and vi- tamin D is needed. However, too much sun exposure can be dangerous. You can still enjoy the outdoors by making a conscious effort to keep yourself safe. Try:
• Always wear sunscreen with at least
Dr. Tariq suggests using the simple ABCDE guide for spotting potentially malignant moles, which can signal skin cancer:
When you need this higher level of cancer care, trust the experts at Bron- son. The Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center offers comprehensive cancer care to get you back to the things you love most. Contact your primary care provider for a referral to any of our oncologists. Learn more at bronson-
30 SPF. Make sure to reapply every
Borders – A healthy mole has even borders. This means that the edges are clean and form a circle or oval shape.
two hours while you’re outside.
• Choose a daily face lotion with SPF.
Color – Healthy moles are all the same color – usually a shade of brown.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. Though most moles on the body are harm- less, skin cancer can look very similar to a mole.
• Limit sun exposure, especially be- tween the hours of 10am-2pm, when the sun’s rays are strongest.
If a mole is unhealthy, it might be black or many different colors.
Is it Skin Cancer?
• When you are in the sun, wear hats and other clothes that cover your skin.
Diameter – Healthy moles are usu- ally smaller than six mm across. This is about the size of an eraser on the end of a pencil.
• Find shade. If you’re at the beach or pool, choose a seat under an umbrella or canopy.
Evolving – Healthy moles do not change in size, shape, or color. If you notice a mole is getting bigger, chang- ing shapes or getting darker than nor- mal, this could be a sign of a malignant mole.
Asymmetry – A healthy mole is symmetrical. This means the left and right side look alike.
  Keeping Cancer Patients Safe from COVID-19
COVID-19 can affect anybody. However, those with underlying health concerns, like cancer, are at an increased risk for catching the virus and having a more severe reaction. Since patients with cancer cannot put off medical care because of the pandemic, the Bronson Battle Creek Cancer Care Center team has taken all precautions to keep patients safe and healthy during ongoing appointments. To stop the spread of COVID-19, the Cancer Care Center now offers:
• Optional virtual visits for checkups not requiring chemo, radiation, or other physical medical care.
• Mandatory screening prior to entering the facility.
• Masks required for all staff and visitors, as well as patients whose condition does not interfere with wearing one.
• Private entrance for chemo patients, private COVID-19 triage room for those showing symptoms, and a new waiting room layout.
• Lockdown from other areas of Bronson Battle Creek, so nobody can move between the Cancer Care Center and other areas of the hospital.

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