16 Feb Did You Miss the Top 4 Skin Cancer News of 2020?
Twenty percent of Americans will have at least one type of skin cancer by the time they reach age 70. Annual skin checks are a critical part of catching skin cancer early, and Spectrum Dermatology recommends everyone (of every age and skin tone) make getting a skin check their resolution for 2021. Most people know about skin cancer, but unless you or someone you know has been affected by it, it’s easy to not prioritize protecting your skin. Avoiding the sun (and tanning beds), covering up, and liberally applying and re-applying sunscreen any time you are exposed to UV rays are the foundations of sun protection.
Researchers are constantly looking at trends and new insights into skin cancer. Understanding the reality of skin cancer today makes you an informed and educated “skin protector” for both yourself and your family. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting skin cancer news of the past year.
Today in Skin Cancer Updates
Melanoma is the deadliest of all skin cancers. It is relatively easy to treat when caught early which, again, is why annual mole checks are so important. However, if allowed to spread, it unfortunately often becomes deadly. One 2020 research article found that those with stage 3 melanoma who had at least one circulating tumor cell tended to relapse sooner. This information helps dermatologists by offering a biomarker able to catch signs of a relapse sooner.
There’s a lot of talk about vaccines in the news today, but scientists are also taking a closer look at vaccines related to skin cancer. Specifically, Elios Therapeutics has developed a personalized vaccine for those with stage 3 or 4 melanoma and who have a high risk of recurrence after surgery. The results are promising and have thus far showed a long-term disease-free result and higher survival benefits. If you are diagnosed with any form of skin cancer, having a leading dermatology team on your side is paramount for increasing your odds of remission. Only experts in the field have the knowledge, experience, and resources you deserve when battling skin cancer.
News to Know about Skin Cancer
It seems like artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere and in every industry, and that includes dermatology. One article published in JAMA Dermatology found that patients are overall open to using AI to aid in screening for skin cancer. However, the majority of patients were also vocal in the fact that they still wanted the patient/physician relationship. Any time you are caring for a skin disease or disorder, and especially cancer, you deserve to work directly with a human expert. That has long been foundational at Spectrum Dermatology, and we use the latest tech as a complement to in-person screenings and treatments—not as a replacement.
Another study found that the immunotherapy treatment Keytruda for some patients with stage 3 melanoma was shown to offer a lasting and “meaningful improvement” in their recurrence-free survival (RFS). Bear in mind that any cancer treatment plan can and should be personalized just for you. A reputable dermatologist will create a plan based on your unique situation. However, it is still great news that treatment options are continuing to be improved upon and discovered. Remember that skin cancer is often treatable, especially in early stages.
What You Can Do to Prevent Skin Cancer
In addition to following the basic tenets of UV protection—covering up, avoiding the sun, and proper use of sunscreen—regularly seeing your dermatologist is also important. Many people see their dentist or general physician on at least an annual basis, but do you recall the last time you saw your dermatologist for any medical concern? A lot of people will make an appointment for cosmetic issues, such as acne (even though acne is a medical condition in its own right), but wait to get mole checks until they or someone they know develops skin cancer. Don’t wait; schedule your mole check today.
Even if you have few moles, no history of skin cancer in the family, or darker skin, mole checks are fast, easy, non-invasive, and can save lives. Make mole checks for the entire family your top to-do for the year and schedule your appointment online today. Spectrum Dermatology is committed to a safe, fully opened practice for all of your dermatology needs.