Health ENewsletter September 2016

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Basal Cell Skin Cancer: A National Epidemic

Join Us For Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month 2016

Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates
8143 Walnut Grove Road
Cordova TN 38018

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Dr. George
Woodbury and Dr. Cathy Chapman
Rheumatology and Dermatology Associates
8143 Walnut Grove Road
Cordova, TN 38018
 (901) 753-0168

The lesion beside this young man’s eye ended up being a basal cell skin cancer. This type of lesion keeps crusting over, then bleeding again, and failing to heal.

Basal Cell Skin Cancer: a National Epidemic

If you have a skin lesion which is enlarging or scabbing, or failing to heal, consider bringing this lesion to medical attention.

One possible cause is basal cell skin cancer. This type of lesion can present as a growth in a sun-distributed part of the body which is red or pink, enlarging, or failing to heal. In 2016, unfortunately we are diagnosing this type of cancer in people as young as their 20s, particularly if they are blond or blue eyed, or freckle easily, or like to be out in the sun, or if they go to tanning salons.
The number of cases per year - the incidence  - is rising. We anticipate diagnosing between two and three million cases this year, making it the most common type of cancer overall.

Early diagnosis is key to having a better chance of having this lesion cured with a smaller scar. A suspicious lesion might first be biopsied, meaning that a small portion is taken for analysis by the laboratory, to see if it is indeed cancer. The results on this test usually take less than a week. Or at times we dermatologists will simply go ahead and remove the whole lesion without a biopsy, if our suspicion of cancer is high, to save the patient from having to go through two surgeries.

Options for treatment include desisccation and curettage, which means having the lesion numbed up and then scraped off; or having the lesion excised or cut out, and the wound repaired with stitches; or else what’s called Mohs micrographic surgery. Mohs is a technique whereby the tissue removed is examined under the microscope by the doctor who just did the surgery, to try to be able to ensure that the margins are clear of cancer. This approach is usually reserved for cancers on the face or neck, or recurrent cancers, or for certain aggressive subtypes of basal cell skin cancer, because Mohs tends to be both time consuming and more expensive. All three options are available in my practice. George Woodbury Jr. M.D. 09/03/2016

The lesion on this man's eyebrow ended up being a basal cell skin cancer. This type of lesion keeps crusting over, then bleeding again, and failing to heal. We often do a biopsy first, to try to find out which type of skin cancer is at stake, thereby guiding more effective treatment.
-Dr. Woodbury 09/03/2016

The photos above are courtesy of the Skin Cancer Foundation. For more, go to Dr. Woodbury is proud to be a member of this national organization, headquartered New York City, dedicated to improving early detection of and better treatment of the many types of skin cancers. 

The above photo is courtesy of the American Academy of Dermatology. The American Academy of Dermatology, headquartered in Schaumburg, IL, is the largest dermatologic organization in the world, with around over 13,000 dermatologist members, including Dr. Woodbury.

This patient to the left developed what was found after a test called a biopsy to be a squamous cell cancer.We encourage people with bleeding or enlarging lesions to get them checked right away. For more on this type of skin cancer, see next month's Health Enewsletter. Photo courtesy of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Emily Woodbury designed our practice's grassroots logo to illustrate
that people benefit most when patients and healthcare personnel work together in a team-wise approach. Everything comes together in a big circle.

Did you know that September is the first annual “Rheumatic
Diseases Awareness Month?” The American College of Rheumatology
has set up a web site - called Simple - to teach each of us
more about how common causes of arthritis are managed - and how
they can be detected early in the disease course.

Rheumatologists go to four years of medical school, then complete a three year internal medicine or pediatrics residency, then complete at least two years of a fellowship in rheumatology, before clinical practice. This lengthy training is meant to equip us with the skills needed to diagnose and manage connective tissue conditions more easily, so that our patients hopefully will endure less pain and disability from their illnesses.  I did my own medical school training at the University of Chicago, then completed a three years’ internal medicine residency at Michael Reese Hospital, before doing a fellowship at Strong Memorial Medical Center, in Rochester New York. I continue to hone my skills by attending local, state-wide, and national meetings, such as the Clinical Congress of Rheumatology, each May. — Cathy Chapman M.D. 09/03/2016

Advocacy Corner:
Become a Patient Advocate for Rheumatology: Visit the Simple web site for instructions on how you can become involved in explaining to your federal legislators how you feel about policy decisions affecting rheumatology and arthritis treatment. Voter Voice is a tool under “Advocacy” to educate you on the issues. 
 Then if you would like to comment on these issues to your elected official:
To reach your elected officials: 1-888-434-6200. Then enter your zip code to get to your elected official's office.
TN Senators: Bob Corker+Lamar Alexander; Rep. Steve Cohen+Rep. Stephen Fincher.

Arkansas Senators: Tom Cotton+John Boozman. Rep.Rick Crawford

Mississippi Senators: Thad Cochran+Roger Wicker. Representative Trent Kelly.
George Woodbury Jr. M.D. 08/10/2016

For questions, comments, or if you would like to
be added to our email list, please email “”or call 1-901-753-0168.
George Woodbury Jr. M.D. (09/03/2016)

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Rheumatology & Dermatology Assoc, PC. · 8143 Walnut Grove Rd · Memphis, TN 38018 · USA