After becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner in 2013, I joined Dr. Diederich at MidAmerica Plastic Surgery. I chose a career in treating skin cancer because it is something I have been passionate about since high school. When my mother had squamous cell carcinoma removed off her arm and was unhappy with the way she scarred, I knew this is something I wanted to do to help others. I have a passion for treating skin cancer and creating the smallest scar possible.
I chose to write about Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) because it is important to know the risks and ways to prevent it. It is estimated that about 5.4 million basal and squamous cell cancers are diagnosed each year with BCC being the most common skin malignancy. Basal cell skin cancer is caused by sun exposure and most commonly occurs on sun-exposed skin such as face, neck, scalp, ears, and arms. Fortunately, the existence of BCC can be lowered with good sun protective behaviors (see below).
Good prevention includes:
- Seeking shade especially between 10 AM and 4PM
- Never use tanning beds
- Avoid sunburn: cover with clothing, wide brimmed hat, sunglasses, and use sunscreen daily
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours and also reapply after your skin gets wet from swimming or extreme sweating
- Complete Self-skin exams every month and report any new or changing lesions to your doctor.
- See your doctor yearly for professional skin exam
The photo above is Laura, FNP-BC and her Grandfather before she removed BCC off of his cheek!