HealthLinks Charleston July/August 2022

82 | www. Char l es tonPhys i c i ans . com | www.Hea l thL i nksChar l es ton . com C H A R L E S T ON CO U N T Y M E D I C A L S OC I E T Y COMMON SKIN CANCER WARNING SIGNS By Colin McCandless As summer officially arrives in the Lowcountry and families spend more time outdoors, cumulative exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can heighten a person’s risk of developing skin cancer. Recognizing the warning signs can help with diagnosis and treatment of this malady. John Maize Jr., M.D., of Trident Dermatology, said the three most common skin cancers mentioned to patients during routine visits are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer and the least deadly. Squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common type, is more dangerous because it has some capacity to spread to other organ systems, according to Dr. Maize. “Whereas basal cell typically does not,” he said. The deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma, is responsible for an estimated 7,500 deaths annually in the United States. “So we’re always on the lookout for all three of these, but we especially want patients to be aware of the warning signs of melanoma because the best way to prevent death is early detection and cure by removal,” stated Dr. Maize. “Melanoma cancers that are delayed in removal gain more capacity to metastasize or spread and be deadly.”