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Topical cream studied as way to treat skin cancer without the knife
Date:4/28/2009

ing more and more common, and can be one of the more challenging melanomas to manage," said Fosko, who is also director of the melanoma and cutaneous oncology section of the Saint Louis University Cancer Center.

"While more study is needed to understand how the drug works and which patients are likely to benefit from it, we are optimistic that the drug may prove to be a good option for some patients," said Fosko. "This may be an effective first line treatment."

Doctors stress that the best way to catch skin cancer early is through screenings.

Regular skin screenings are recommended for everyone, especially those over 40 years of age, and individuals at higher risk for skin cancer, those with a fair complexion, sunburn easily, have numerous moles, a personal or family history of skin cancer, and by occupation, recreation or use of tanning salons, get significant sun or ultraviolet rays exposure, regardless of age or race.

During a screening, a dermatologist will check moles, birth marks and other pigmentations for signs of cancer, which include abnormal size, color, shape or texture.

Skin Cancer Facts:

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. As many one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Yet many people continue to tan both indoors and out.

Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and is the leading cancer in young adults, 25-29 years old. It is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of pigment-producing cells and may appear on the skin suddenly without warning or develop on an existing mole.

There are several warning signs of melanoma. Identifying these signs is as easy as ABCDE:

  • Asymmetry one half is unlike the other half
  • Border irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border
  • Color varied from one area to another; shad
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Contact: Carrie Bebermeyer
bebermcl@slu.edu
314-977-8015
Saint Louis University
Source:Eurekalert

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