What are the Symptoms and Treatments for Skin Cancer

Jason Rivers, MD, FRCPC, discusses skin cancer.

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Jason Rivers, MD, FRCPC, discusses skin cancer.
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Featuring Dr. Jason Rivers, MD, FRCPC

Duration: 1 minute, 25 seconds

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer that humans are subjected to, and the rate of skin cancer is is increasing, probably because of a lot of exposure to the sun and artificial tanning beds.

There are three common types of skin cancer. The most common would be called basal cell carcinoma, less common squamous cell carcinoma, and the least common, melanoma - but potentially the most deadly.

These skin cancer appear primarily on the head and neck region of elderly people, that's the basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers. And they appear as a small sore that tends to grow, it may bleed and then settle down only to recur again.

Melanoma occurs in younger individuals: in women most commonly on the legs, in men most commonly on the back, but it can occur anywhere. And this has colour in it - it's a pigmented spot. It can start flat and then becomes raised in time.

And we talk about the A, B, C and D's of melanoma, meaning A for asymmetry; B for border irregularity; C for variable color - so it has more than one colour in it, it may have brown and black; and D diameter - more than a pencil eraser.

But if you have one spot that's doing something different from your other spots, that could be suspicious for a skin cancer and you should have it checked out.

If you have questions about skin cancer, contact a local dermatologist.

Presenter: Dr. Jason Rivers, Dermatologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Dermatologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.