The Bismarck Cancer Center (BCC) allows patients in our area to receive state-of-the-art cancer treatment and caring support while staying close to home and loved ones. We have a highly-skilled and compassionate team of radiation therapists, medical physicists, nurses and dosimetrists working with your radiation oncologist to care for you during your treatment.
Dr. Robert Reynolds
Skin Cancer Awareness

Q:  How is melanoma different from other types of skin cancer?

A:   There are three major types of skin cancers: basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma.  The first two skin cancers are grouped together as non-melanoma skin cancers and tend to be less invasive and require less aggressive treatment compared to melanoma. Melanoma often looks like a brown or black mole or birthmark. Melanoma has features that make it different from normal moles and birthmarks, but suspicious areas should be carefully evaluated by a primary care physician or dermatologist. Early detection and treatment are associated with improved outcomes.   It’s important to remember the abnormal features of melanoma by thinking of the letters A, B, C, D, and E:

  • Asymmetry – One half can look different than the other half.
  • Border – It can have a jagged or uneven edge.
  • Color – It can have different colors.
  • Diameter – It is larger than the eraser on the end of a pencil.
  • Evolution – Its size, color, or shape can change over time.

       Research shows that 90% of melanoma is caused by natural or artificial ultraviolet light.  Therefore, it is recommended to decrease UV light exposure on bare skin.  Easy ways to do this are to limit sun exposure. If this is not possible, wear sunscreen and reapply often; wear appropriate clothing (wide brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts and pants); and avoid tanning beds.


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