Rates of skin cancer continue to rise. People with fair skin who sunburn easily have the highest risk of developing skin cancer. Risk factors are many and include: history of sunburns, family history of skin cancer, weakened immune system, use of indoor tanning beds, and exposure to cancer-causing compounds. Combatting skin cancer involves a multidisciplinary approach: 1) surveillance, 2) treatment, and 3) prevention.
Surveillance involves regular skin examinations – by both physician and patient. Patients are educated on how to spot suspicious growths and learn to take a proactive approach to skin care. Various treatment options are for skin cancer and include prescription creams, destruction, and surgical removal. Prevention is achieved primarily by sun protection strategies but also consists of treatment of pre-cancerous growths with cryotherapy, medications, or photodynamic therapy.