Posts for tag: sores

              Most people beleve that skin cancer  is only caused by too much sun exposure resulting in 

many bad sunburns. However,skin cancer can also be caused by the damage to the skin resulting

from irradiation from  X-rays and from the injestion of arsenic salts.  People living near sod and turf farms

where arsenic is used in fertilizers have the risk of their well water being contaminated by

arsenic.Arsenic can result in a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma.

             In addition, scars,burns and vaccination marks can eventuate into skin cancer as well

as non-healing sores and ulers.

            I have forgotten the number of times patients with chronic ulcerated skin areas-especially

on their lower legs-and previously diagnosed as being caused by vascular problems came to

my office with squamous cell carcinomas  as now the predominant part of their skin ulcers.

            In addition,people with internal cancer being treated by chemo and/or radiation

therapy are immunosuppressed and have an increased risk of skin cancer.

           My senior citizen patients often ask me why they are getting skin cancer now 

when they  haven't had excessive sun exposure in many years.My answer: not only is

the effect of the sun cumulative over the years but also as all of us age our immune systems

become weaker and are not able to suppress the seeds of skin cancer sown many years


            The bottom line again: any change in size,color or shape of a skin lesion or any

non-healing sore or ulcer should be checked and probably biopsied by your health care