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Skin Cancer: How to Prevent It

JACKSON, Miss.- Studies show that 50% of all light-skinned Mississippians will experience some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. Being in the southeast United States, and with summer right around the corner, the sun will be wreaking havoc on Mississippi in no time. That, on top of the fact that Mississippians love the outdoors, whether it be for hunting, fishing, gardening, farming, and any other profession that requires outdoor labor, the risk for skin cancer is extremely high.

Dr. Robert Brodell is a professor, and Chairman of the department of Dermatology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. He says he would never go a day in his practice without seeing more than one person with skin cancer.

“Basal-cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer,” Brodell said. “The sun hits your skin, it makes changes in your skin that cause a pre-cancer, which has short of a rock hard scale on the surface, and then if it’s left to sit there, it becomes a sore that won’t heal. So the center part is a crusted sore and around it, the skin often is heaped up and looks a little bit pearly…. These are cancers that almost never metasticize. So we don’t have to worry about them sending seeds around the body, but we do want to get rid of them when they’re small before they get too big. There are a number of treatments that are possible, but generally we excise it, or we cut around it, making sure theres a margin around it where it’s complete removed, and then it’s gone.”

Dr. Brodell says that the best way to prevent skin cancer is to wear a broad-rimmed hat whenever outside. “That keeps some of the sun off of our face, and ears, which are some of the most common places to get skin cancer,” he added. “We should also wear sunscreen. Any sunscreen with an SPF number of 30 or greater, and especially those that say ‘broad-spectrum,’ or ‘UVA-UVB Blocker,’ those are good sunscreens.”

You can hear the full interview with Dr. Robert Brodell HERE:

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