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California Governor has skin cancer removed from nose

Skin cancers are extremely common. In fact, they are the most common cancer diagnosed in the United States every year. Plastic Surgeons are often asked to excise these malignancies and/or perform reconstructions.

In the case of Jerry Brown, the Governor of California, a basal cell carcinoma was removed by his dermatologist and a reconstruction performed by a plastic surgeon this week according to multiple published reports. I removed two skin cancers from patients in my New Jersey plastic surgery office this past week! This is a common problem!

I take this opportunity to discuss some statistics from the CDC regarding skin cancer in New Jersey:

– In a survey about 5 years ago, 40% of New Jersey adults admitted to a sunburn in the last year.
– An estimated 2530 New Jersey residents were diagnosed with melanoma in 2009 with nearly 245 people dying from melanoma in New Jersey yearly.
– Unprotected exposure to ultraviolet light is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.

Suggestions that make sense and save lives:
– Do not sunburn!
– Ultraviolet UV light from tanning beds causes skin cancer and wrinkling. As a plastic surgeon in New Jersey who treats both skin cancer and wrinkling, it is hard for me to understand why women continue to use tanning beds
– Use Sunscreen generously. We have several different types available in our office and the aestheticians are more than happy to discuss the importance.
– Cover up with protective clothing and hats when possible!

The weather is finally beautiful out there! Enjoy, but be careful!