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As more people look to spend the spring and summer months outdoors, doctors and nurses are continuing to warn patients about skin cancer. A new study shows vitamin B3 could help prevent certain types of skin cancer.

The Associated Press reported that a study in Australia shows that those who took a specific type of vitamin B3 for a year had a 23 percent lower rate of new skin cancers compared to others who took dummy pills. The study did not involve melanoma, and instead focused on more common forms. Some doctors say they want more evidence to support the use of the victamin, called nicotinamide, the AP reported.

Boiling Springs Family Medicine physician Dr. Chad Jumper talked about skin cancer, the types and what a diagnosis can mean.

Q: What are some ways someone can contract skin cancer?

A: “Risks of skin cancer include sun exposure, tanning bed use, family history and use of certain medications.”

Q: What are the signs of skin cancer?

A: “Signs of skin cancer include moles with a change in size or color, one part looking different than the rest, and an irregular border. A sore that will not heal can also signify skin cancer.”

Q: How does skin cancer affect the rest of the body?

A: “Melanoma is the most severe kind of skin cancer and can spread to other parts of the body, becoming deadly. The other two more common skin cancers, basal cell and squamous cell, do not typically spread to other parts of the body. They do however invade the deep skin and soft tissue under the skin if left untreated. This can make removal difficult and lead to larger surgeries.”

Q: What happens if skin cancer isn’t caught?

A: “Again, this depends on the type. Everything from necessary removal of the cancer and sometimes large amounts of surrounding tissue to deadly spread of the disease can result.”

Q: What treatment options are there for skin cancer?

A: “The less severe skin cancers are often treated with surgical removal only. Melanoma treatment can include surgery, radiation, treatment that uses the immune system to fight the cancer, and chemotherapy.”

Dr. Chad Jumper is a family practice physician at Boiling Springs Family Medicine and is board certified in family medicine. He attended Penn State and completed his residency at Reading Hospital and Medical Center. He is a member of the American Medical Association and the American Association of Family Practice. Check Boiling Springs Family Medicine on Twitter @DrChadJumper and on Facebook. This information is intended for educational purposes. Please consult your health care provider for advice about treatments that may affect your individual health.


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