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Hugh Jackman has a cancer scare! Here's what you need to know about basal cell carcinoma

by , 25 November 2013

Actor Hugh Jackman has revealed details of his skin cancer scare. According to reports, the 45-year-old shared the news last week Thursday on Instagram. He revealed that his wife spurred him to get a suspicious mark on his face checked out by a doctor, who diagnosed him with basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. It's a good thing the Wolverine star got the mark checked early. Skin cancer can be deadly. Read on to find out more about basal cell carcinoma and what you can do to reduce your risk.

According to a report by All4Women, Jackman wrote “Deb (his wife) said to get the mark on my nose checked. Boy she was right! I had a basil cell carcinoma.”

The actor also encouraged his fans to get checked for skin cancer. He wrote: “Please don’t be foolish like me. Get yourself checked. And USE sunscreen!!!” he pleaded.

While Jackman didn’t share further details of his health, it’s believed he’s recovering.

This just goes to show the importance of early detection when it comes to skin cancer.

So what exactly is basal cell carcinoma?

As mentioned, basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer.

The Mayo Clinic explains that basal cell carcinoma begins in the basal cells - a type of cell in the skin that produces new skin cells as old ones die off.

It often appears as a waxy bump, though it can take other forms. And it occurs on areas of the skin that are often exposed to the sun, such as your face and neck.

Please note that basal cell carcinomas can also occur on parts of your body that are rarely exposed to sunlight. For instance, some may occur on your chest and legs.

What causes basal cell carcinoma?

The medical website says that most basal cell carcinomas are thought to be caused by long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight.

What are the warning signs of basal cell carcinoma?

The Mayo Clinic says that although a general warning sign of skin cancer is a sore that won't heal or that repeatedly bleeds and scabs over, basal cell cancer may also appear as:
  • A pearly white or waxy bump, often with visible blood vessels, on your face, ears or neck. The bump may bleed and develop a crust. In dark skinned people, this type of cancer may be brown or black.
  • A flat, scaly, brown or flesh-colored patch on your back or chest. Over time, these patches can grow quite large.
  • More rarely, a white, waxy scar. This type of basal cell carcinoma is easy to overlook, but it may be a sign of a particularly invasive and disfiguring cancer called morpheaform basal cell carcinoma.
If you notice any of these signs, see you doctor as soon as possible.

Is there a way to avoid basal cell carcinoma?

Yes. Avoid too much sun exposure and use sunscreen to help reduce your risk of basal cell carcinoma. Also go for regular cancer screening so your doctor can rule out any possibility of skin cancer.

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