Hero Skin Checks at Bravia Dermatology

*Free skin cancer checks are available to our community heroes (Firefighters, Police, EMTs) with a photo ID and an active badge or identification from their job that matches their name.  Appointments are reserved each day in May on a first-come, first-served basis.  If a biopsy or procedure is recommended, it should be processed through your health insurance.  These appointments are meant to address skin cancer / lesion concerns only.

First Responders are Higher Risk

Did you know that First Responders, especially firefighters, are higher risk for skin cancer than the general public?  Bravia Dermatology is committed to prevention and early detection of skin cancer.  Bravia Dermatology also offers world-class skin cancer management.

Here are some reasons why skin cancer is more common or severe in first responders:

  • More sun exposure.  Our first responders spend a lot of time outside and near flames, which means more ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure.  Without proper sun protection and sunscreen, they are more likely to develop all types of skin cancer, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and the more serious form called melanoma.
  • More heat exposure.  Heat exposure leads to sweating and increased skin permeability.  Not only are some sunscreen less effective after sweating, but the increased skin permeability allows toxins and carcinogens to penetrate deeper into the skin.
  • More inhaled/environmental toxin and carcinogen exposure.  Even when respirators are used, first responders are more at risk of inhaling carcinogens.  In fact, debris left on equipment, uniforms, helmets, and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can be aerosolized and inhaled even when back at the station.  It's recommended that PPE be washed after each use.
  • Less likely to seek medical attention.  Our heroes do a great job of taking care of others, but they often put their own needs last.   

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is skin cancer awareness month.  Bravia Dermatology is proud to serve our local first responder heroes with free skin cancer checks during the month of May.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer found in humans.  In fact, it beats the incidence of breast, colon, prostate and lung cancers combined. 

The most common types of skin cancer are:

Basal Cell Carcinoma - Often starts as a pink, pearly spot with broken blood vessels in it.  It may bleed easily.  Basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) are often described as a "pimple that doesn't go away."  They are the most common type of skin cancer and are very common on the face.  BCCs are thought to be associated with past sunburns, sometimes occuring 30-40+ years later.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma - Often starts as a pink, scaly or ulcerated spot.  It may have heaped up edges or thick adherent scale.  Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are the second most common type of skin cancer, and are more likely to spread than BCCs. SCCs are thought to be associated with chronic cumulative sun damage/exposure as well as past sun burns.  SCCs can occur in scars or in chronic sun or heat exposed skin, even if the sun exposure is through window glass.

Melanoma - Usually a black or dark spot that is new or growing or changing.  However, it can be red or colorless.  Melanomas are the most serious type of skin cancer; and they can spread or be deadly.  Early detection and treatment can provide >90% cure rate.  Sun exposure and sunburns, fair skin, and family history increase the risk of melanoma.  Melanomas can occur in young patients, even teens, and can also occur in areas without significant sun exposure. The "ABCD's of melanoma" are often used to describe concerning lesions.   Early detection and treatment saves lives!