05/17/2013 11:16 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Skin Cancer Awareness


Courtesy of Anderson Group PR

This month is all about National Skin Cancer Awareness - everyone needs to be aware.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer and often occurs in the face because that is the most sun exposed area of the human body - this is with the cancers that experts believe to be largely the result of cumulative UV exposure starting off during childhood.

"The most common forms of skin cancer that are out there are what is known as Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma." Dr. Justin Piasecki said. "They are more common than all other cancers combined. Although Squamous Cell Carcinoma can be life threatening, for the most part the cancers will grow unabated if they're not treated and they are very destructive locally. The problem is the morbidity and the quality of life destruction from the cancer essentially eating away the nose, the eyelids, the lips, earlobes, etc."

Dr. Piasecki is the nation's #1 skin cancer doctor and expert. The good doctor is also the founder of the world renowned Skin Cancer Center which is the only place of its kind which allows patients to have reconstructive surgery following their skin cancer surgery.

"There are a number of ways to treat skin cancer. As for any cancer that we treat as doctors, the only way to truly cure cancer is to destroy and remove all of the cancer cells. We don't have any other tricks; whether it's radiation or chemotherapy all of those are treatment modalities are the designed specifically for the treatment of cancer."

Contrary to popular belief, skin cancer can affect people of all skin tones including those with darker complexions. The deadly disease is not limited to sun exposed areas, it can also affect areas that seldom see the light of day.

"Skin cancer begins on the surface of the skin, so it's easier for us to access as opposed to blood cancer which is leukemia, lung cancer or cancer of the brain - those are far more challenging forms of cancer to treat as the cells are harder to access and destroy. With skin cancer, the cells can be burned off, frozen, they can be radiated, and they can be cut out with wide surgical margins. These are all techniques that have worked successfully but come with a tradeoff. The cure rate is relatively low; it's about 80-85% cure rate for those treatment methods. They also tend to be deforming. There's not a lot of real estate on the face, so if we remove, burn, or freeze parts of the tissue we can cause a defect that can create new problems even if all of the cancer cells have been destroyed."

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.

"It's all about making people aware that this is a problem that won't go away. Everybody who is an adult at some point in their lives will be faced with this problem and/or going to have a family member that is dealing with it - people need to be aware."

For information on how to prevent skin cancer, visit this website.