Skin cancer education is a core tenet of every Board-Certified Dermatologist and Dermatology Advanced Practitioner – every May we spend extra time raising awareness of the topic. It’s because this month is Skin Cancer Awareness month. In May, we also recognize Melanoma Monday, which is the first Monday of May, Don’t Fry Day, which is the Friday before Memorial Day, and National Sunscreen Day which is every May 27. That’s a lot of awareness days! And thank goodness, because skin cancer is America’s most common skin cancer.
This year we were excited to take part in raising awareness every Friday of the month with the KLAD Wake-Up Crew. Our very own Lexie Staub, PA-C, chatted with KLAD about skin cancer. This is the first of Lexie’s four interviews.
KLAD: It is Chris Janson and Good Vibes 92.5 KLAD with the KLAD Wake-Up Crew brought to you by Holiday Jewelry. We are at Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram and Lexie Staub is joining us, who is with Bend Dermatology and this is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, right?
LEXIE: It is!
K: Let’s talk a little bit about skin cancer in general. First off, what is skin cancer?
L: So, skin cancer occurs when a part of your skin becomes usually damaged by the sun and it makes a little growth or sore that starts to grow out of control, and if it’s left untreated, it can become quite destructive or even spread inside your body and cause a lot of damage.
K: So how do you know that something’s not right?
L: Usually skin cancer can be detected just by looking at the skin, being familiar with your moles and your spots. So, being aware of what your moles look like, ones that are changing, they may be starting to bleed or feel sore, they’re darkening, they just look different than before, but it’s almost always detectable just by looking at your skin.
K: Okay, so what causes skin cancer?
L: Skin cancer is almost always caused by the sun. The two most common causes are UV rays from the sun as well as tanning beds, so covering up from the sun is very important, and avoiding tanning beds is very important as well.
K: And there’s- what- four different types of skin cancer?
L: There’s four main types that we think of. We have basal cell skin cancer, the most common type, we have squamous cell skin cancer, the second most common type, melanoma, is the type that we’ve all heard of that can be very serious, and then a very rare type called Merkel cell carcinoma.
K: So, are they all at a level serious like melanoma? Or are they… How does that work?
L: It depends how early they’re caught. Early detection is key for all these types. Usually, basal cell and squamous cell are a lot easier to treat, especially if we catch them early. Melanoma and Merkel cell could be a bit more serious, but again early detection is key in survival and treatment.
K: Okay, and the best way to do that is just to have annual checkups?
L: Yeah, an annual head-to-toe skin check with your local Dermatologist or Dermatology PA like myself. We just check your skin, head to toe. And of course, if you ever notice anything you’re worried about, getting it checked right away is the best thing you could do.
K: Alright, sounds good. Well, thanks for joining us. Appreciate it.
L: Yeah, thank you for having me!
K: Lexie Staub, who is with Bend Dermatology Clinic in Klamath Falls. You can find out more information, just search for them on the web and you’ll get them right there. Coming up next with the KLAD Wake-Up Crew we’ve got music from Luke Combs here at Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram.
Get To Know Lexie Staub, PA-C
While always interested in medicine, Lexie wasn’t sure if becoming a physician was her career path, and while she was studying botany, she befriended a Nurse Practitioner who told her all about Physician Assistants. In that moment, it clicked for her, she would become a Certified Physician Assistant. She loves her Dermatology specialty due to its positive impact on her patients’ health and everyday quality of life. One of her favorite skin cancer awareness tips includes being familiar with your moles. Thirty percent of the time melanoma will occur in a spot that you’ve had forever.
Lexie sees patients in our Klamath Falls location on Main Street just off Crater Lake Parkway. She, along with our other Klamath Falls Advanced Practitioners, Board-Certified Dermatologists, and Fellowship-Trained Surgeons treat patients here for all types of conditions of the skin, hair, and nails including Mohs surgery.