I had Actinic Keratosis on my upper lip. I noticed a sore form that just didn't go away after several weeks, which turned into more weeks and months. I made an appointment to see a dermatologist after doing some research. I am well aware of my immune suppressants putting me at a greater risk for skin cancer so I took this sore very seriously. I had a dermatologist look at it in April then we set an appointment for the first of August. Once in a while they can heal on their own, other times they turn cancerous. I wasn't willing to wait to find out.
What is Actinic Keratosis?
Scaly or crusty growths (lesions) caused by damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, actinic keratosis (AK) is also known as solar keratoses. They typically appear on sun-exposed areas such as the face, bald scalp, lips, and the back of the hands, and are often elevated, rough in texture, and resemble warts. Most become red, but some will be tan, pink, red, and/or flesh-toned. Untreated AKs can advance to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the second most common form of skin cancer, and some experts believe they are actually the earliest stage of SCC.
Actinic keratosis is the most common precancer; it affects more than 58 million Americans. Approximately 65 percent of all squamous cell carcinomas arise in lesions that previously were diagnosed as actinic keratoses. In patients with a history of two or more skin cancers, 36 percent of basal cell carcinomas arise in lesions previously diagnosed as actinic keratoses.
Stay protected and cancer free everyone! :)
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