Skin cancer is a major health problem. Millions of Americans are diagnosed with a form of skin cancer each year. New research by leading dermatologists is trying to determine the mental impact of skin cancer. Specialized questionnaires were administered to patients who had a recent diagnosis of early melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, or squamous cell carcinoma, the most common forms of skin cancer. Patients were asked to rate their degree of worry before and after surgical treatment of their skin cancers.
The researchers found that a diagnosis of skin cancer caused a significant degree of worry and negative mental impact. Questions regarding a generalized fear of skin cancer and concern of getting new skin cancers had the highest scores. The degree of worry was linked to younger age at diagnosis of skin cancer and having a history of multiple skin cancers. This is the first study to show the mental impact of skin cancer.
There is good news. Skin cancer can be prevented. Regular skin checks with a board certified dermatologist should be part of your preventative care strategy. Treatments and medications exist that can help to prevent skin cancer. In addition, regular check ups can ensure that any skin cancer that arises is caught early and treated successfully with the least impact to your daily routine. Don’t worry about your skin, do something to keep yourself healthy. Visit a board certified dermatologist for a preventative skin check and let him or her ease your mind and keep your skin healthy and happy.