Just Two Little Spots!
Wwest News Service (WNS)
William A. West
SAYBROOK_She had been covering the spot on her nose with more and more make-up for the past year. Out of sight, out of mind. Not a good thing when it comes to dealing with a potentially cancerous situation. But beauty was Christine’s calling card and it helped create job opportunities for her in the past.
“I had two sores on my nose that were not healing,” Christine Crofoot – Harting said. “I just kept piling on the make-up because they didn’t look nice.”
What was the 50-year-old woman going to do if the spot was determined to be cancer and she would need surgery. Surgery that could disfigure the face and the self-esteem.
Would achieving the American golden girl look with blue eyes with years of tanning in the intense sun of Houston, Texas come back to haunt Crofoot – Harting of Saybrook? Or maybe was it the constant visits to the tanning salons? Doing both could be a real recipe for disaster for the fair-skinned beauty of Finnish descent. The sun is responsible for more than 90 percent of all skin cancers.
“One day I realized they (spots) were sort of not healing and that was one of the beginning signs of cancer,” Crofoot – Harting said. “I should get it checked.”
A local doctor informed Crofoot – Harting that the two spots on her nose were basal cell skin cancer and surgery would be necessary to remove the cancer.
Most skin cancers are basal skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma is one type of non melanoma skin cancer. It is a slow-growing form of skin cancer and is the most common type of cancer in the United States. There are more than 1.3 million cases of non melanoma skin cancer each year in the U.S. Basal cell cancer makes up 80 percent of the cases and squamous cell cancer cases are at 16 percent.
Skin cancer lands in two major categories; non melanoma and melanoma. Skin cancer in the melanoma group are much more lethal and aggressive, but considerably rarer than the non melanoma group. Melanomas diagnosis account for about five percent of all skin cancer cases, but are responsible for about 77 percent of skin cancer deaths.
One of the most effective methods for treating basal cell cancer is Mohs Surgery. The procedure was developed by Dr. Frederic Mohs in the 1930s. The technique has been modified and refined over the past 70-plus years to become the gold standard basal cell cancer treatment.
Re-nown Mohs Surgeon Dr. Jorge A. Garcia – Zuazaga, of the Apex Dermatology Skin Surgery Center in Concord, examined Crofoot – Harting and scheduled her for surgery.