Cancer is a tricky situation because, although there are risk factors, many times it sneaks up on someone who has no family history, no traditional risk factor, and often is caught in late stages. At Family Practice Specialists, we believe that education is a key element in recognizing not only the risk factors for cancer, but the symptoms of cancer should you not fall into those risk factor categories. So today, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month here in Phoenix, we want to provide some insight into breast cancer risk factors as well as the symptoms that you’ll want to be aware of.
Just the other day I was sitting at a local Phoenix restaurant having a nice dinner when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a puff of smoke. As I glanced over, the gentleman sitting a few tables down from me was smoking – at least that’s what I thought. And after a few moments of confusion I realized he was smoking an E-Cigarette, indoors, legally. Recently there’s been quite a lot of talk about the effectiveness of E-Cigarettes to help people quit, and the coolness factor drawing kids in to trying these E-Cigarettes.
With the summer approaching quickly here in Phoenix, there is a real need to talk about the risks of too much sun. Overexposure to sunrays have many people concerned about developing skin cancer, specifically melanoma. This type of cancer is less common but a more serious type of skin cancer. Melanoma is a malignant (or cancerous) tumor of melanocytes which produce dark pigment in the skin called melanin. If this form of cancer is not found in its early stages, the outlook for patients with melanoma is not good – nearly 75% of all deaths from skin cancer occur in melanoma patients.
Knowing when to go to your Phoenix doctor is important when it comes to coughs, rashes, sprains and strains, and fevers. But here in Arizona , it’s extremely important to know when to go to your doctor and dermatologist for skin conditions such as moles. Skin cancer is a big issue, and knowing when a mole is more than just a skin discoloration is crucial to protecting yourself against melanoma. Our dermatologist, Dr. Racette , got together with the team from Family Practice Specialists to put together a list of tips, helping you to know when to see your Phoenix doctor about that mole.
What is a Mole?
Simply speaking, moles are small pigmented cells on our skin that appear in clusters or singularly. They can change in appearance over the years as your body and the overall health of your skin changes, and in most cases are perfectly harmless.