Saturday, March 19, 2022

Physician who had skin cancer himself gives several suggestions for preventing the disease

Despite the fact that most skin cancer is preventable, and usually curable if caught early, the cancer remains the most prevalent — with more cases diagnosed each year than all other cancers combined.

Dr. Gerald L. Saliman
That, at least, is the opinion of Dr. Gerald L. Saliman, an internist who retired from Kaiser San Francisco, where he was chief of patient education. 

In a recent column for a special Senior Life section of J. the Jewish News of Northern California, "Jerry" Saliman quotes dermatologist Dr. Jennifer C. Haley, associate professor at UCLA, to that effect — and emphasizes that risks are dependent on how much sun to which you've been exposed.

Saliman himself had a melanoma, and his wife "has had basal cell carcinoma and shamus cell carcinoma," his article reveals.

"Clouds block only 20% of UV radiation," he writes, "so it's important to wear sunscreen even if it's cloudy."

In addition, he suggests that everyone check their skin "regularly for odd spots or sores that do not seem to heal, particularly in areas that are exposed to the sun."

He notes that he "promptly went to see my doctor when I noticed a tiny, funny-looking skin lesion, and I am glad I did so."

Years after his surgery, he's still cancer-free.

His cancer, the article indicates, was on his left temple, "most likely…because I had frequent sunburns as a child, and our car's side windows did not protect me from UV radiation." 

Saliman's recommendations to prevent cancer of the skin, "the largest organ in the human body," include staying out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., "wear sun-protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves and long pants."

More about disease preventives can be found in "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

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