Actor Hugh Jackman uses his basal cell skin cancer as a lesson to others

Actor Hugh Jackman is known for his role as Wolverine in the X-Men series. In these films, his character is relatively indestructible. In real life, Jackman's multiple run-ins with skin cancer are cause for alarm.

Recently, Jackman revealed that he had been treated for basal cell carcinoma. Along with this disclosure of treatment came a stern warning for fans to protect themselves from this condition by wearing sunscreen. Before the recent removal of a basal cell carcinoma on his nose, Jackman had been treated for other BCCs, including one on his shoulder.

The actor attributes his skin cancer woes to growing up in Australia, one of the top two countries for skin cancer diagnoses. Understandably, parts of the world that are sunny and warm are fully enjoyed by inhabitants who may not wear sunscreen as they should. For Jackman, an active childhood occurred at a time in which sunscreen was rarely used due to a lack of understanding about the damage UV rays can cause.

According to the American Cancer Society, basal cell carcinoma makes up the majority of skin cancer diagnoses each year. 8 of every 10 patients treated for skin cancer have this type. Basal cell carcinomas tend to develop on areas that have been exposed to the sun. This may be long-term exposure over many years, or it may be a few intense sunburns.

Fortunately, BCCs are rarely life-threatening. However, it is important to have these lesions removed so they do not cause excessive tissue damage or disfigurement. *Jackman is not our patient

The procedure for basal cell removal is straightforward, and is performed in a meticulous manner. Patients of the Center for Dermatology and Cosmetic Laser Surgery in the Plano area have the option of skin cancer treatment using Mohs Micrographic Surgery. The benefit of this treatment as opposed to standard excision is that, though labor and time intensive, Mohs leaves a smaller scar while achieving a high success rate, and the lowest chance of the cancer ever coming back.

We applaud Hugh Jackman for taking the opportunity to educate others about skin cancer. In addition to bringing the issue of sun exposure and skin cancer to the forefront of pop-culture media, Jackman has teamed with Pure Growth Group to develop Pure Sun Defense, a line of sunscreen for children.

Sun-safe practices like wearing sunscreen should be complemented by annual skin cancer screenings. To schedule yours, contact one of our four offices.

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