Americans today recognize acronyms and abbreviations for a wide range of important medical terms: ED, OCD, UTI. However, we are not familiar with one that could help to save millions of lives: CPS.
CPS stands for Cancer Prone Skin. Skin Cancer is the most common cancer, with over 2 million Americans diagnosed with skin cancer each year. It is imperative that we make a household term the primary aid in identifying skin that is most at risk. No matter your skin color, you can get skin cancer. Some people have a higher risk of developing skin cancer than others, placing them in the CPS category.
CPS typically includes several or more of the following risk factors:
- Light colored skin
- Skin that burns or freckles rather than tans
- Blond or red hair
- Blue or green eyes
- More than 50 moles
- Irregularly shaped or darker moles
- Used or use indoor tanning devices
- History of sun exposure from outdoor activities
With early detection and treatment, skin cancer is highly curable. The most common warning signs of skin cancer include changes in size, shape, or color of a mole or other skin lesion or the appearance of a new growth on the skin. “If you have any lesion or mole change at all, or if you have a spot that bleeds and doesn’t heal in three weeks, see a dermatologist,” Dr. Crutchfield recommended. “That’s something everyone can do.”
A person with any of the CPS risk factors should not panic, but they should begin a lifelong routine of visiting their board-certified dermatologist for regular skin check. “Dermatology has made incredible advances in identifying risks and early diagnoses,” Crutchfield explained. “For patients with CPS, routine monitoring is the best means to early detection of skin cancer, leading to a great prognosis for successful treatment.”
“Also remember skin color doesn’t give you a free pass,” said Dr. Charles E. Crutchfield III. “It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, everyone can get skin cancer.”
About Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD:
Charles E. Crutchfield III, M.D. is a graduate of the Mayo Clinic Medical School and a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Dr. Crutchfield is an annual selection in the “Top Doctors” issue of Mpls. St. Paul magazine. He is the only dermatologist to have been selected as a “Best Doctor for Women” by Minnesota Monthly magazine since the inception of the survey. Dr. Crutchfield has been selected as one of the “Best Doctors in America,” an honor awarded to only 4% of all practicing physicians. Dr. Crutchfield is the co-author of a children’s book on sun protection and dermatology textbook. He is a member of the AΩA National Medical Honor Society, an expert consultant for WebMD and CNN, and a recipient of the Karis Humanitarian Award from the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine.