Summer’s just around the corner and more sunshine will be making its way into Central Pennsylvania. But this time of year also means an increased effort to protect yourself from skin cancer causing rays.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer. And it’s the most common form of cancer in the U.S.
Rashell Dimitris anticipates serving clients at Emergence Skin Care Studio, in Lancaster County. She met Jean Fresick-Schugsta about 10 years ago. That’s when the healthy relationship between the esthetician and client began.
Jean says, “She was doing my facial and she noticed she didn’t like the scaliness on my nose.”
Rashell says, “After I cleansed her skin, I kept feeling an unusual texture around her nose area and during the skin analyze. I couldn’t see abnormal color, but the texture was wrong.”
As an esthetician, Rashell can not diagnose cancer. Instead, she recommended Jean visit her dermatologist.
Rashell says, “She came back and said it was pre-cancer and she had it removed and she was so grateful.”
Jean says, “The type of cancer that I would have gotten on the side of my nose, had it developed, is a disfiguring cancer, carcinoma, so I’m happy we found it ahead of time, so I don’t have the scaring.”
Abby Jacobson is a physician assistant at Dermatology and Skin Surgery Center of York.
Jacobson says, “If we see something that’s worrisome on a patient, we’ll perform a biopsy that day.”
Jacobson’s been practicing dermatology for 13 years. She says there are 3 common skin cancers, including Melanoma. She says, “That’s a dark pigmented, new lesion, that black or dark mole. The much more common skin cancers are called carcinomas, they start as a flesh or pink bump that patients will say is a pimple that never healed or scab or dry rough patch that has persisted.”
Jacobson says a person can’t feel if they have skin cancer, but there are noticeable signs.
She says, “You can tell it’s new and different. Anything that bleeds deserves evaluation. That change is the biggest indicator or something that needs to be looked at.”
Change is a reason why Jacobson encourages you to receive treatments such as facials.
She says, “I do recommend my patients go to the same, reputable esthetician, masseuse, hair dresser, because if they’re good int heir profession, they’ll learn about skin cancer and disease.”
Rashell says, “As the season’s change, so do the needs of your skin. So by having an esthetician look at your skin, you’re having an extra pair of eyes and hands on your skin and we notice changes.”
In a six month period, Rashell found six abnormalities on 4 women and 2 men. She says, “I consider myself to be an intricate part of their overall health of their skin.”
But don’t depend entirely on someone else. Know your risks.
Jacobson says, “Any blistering sun burn, particularly under the age of 18, a first degree relative who’s had skin cancer, a personal history of skin cancer, an occupation or hobby that has you out in the sun frequently.”
Also note where you live. Jacobson says there’s a high skin cancer rate in Central PA because of its contributing factors.
She says, “Probably our agricultural background plays into some of the skin cancer development in this area, as well as the fact we have beautiful summers, we’re outdoors, outdoors in our youth.”
For Jean, wearing sunscreen daily and facials with Rashell every other month keep her cancer free.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness month; it’s a good time to touch base with your doctors about the current recommendations for sun screen use. Dermatologists recommend you receive a full body scan at least once a year.