Cancer camouflaged in belly button

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Last Updated: May 7, 2014

Skin cancer is in the superficial part of the body and it is very easy to detect. However, for the case of San Antonio, Texas, dermatologist Vivian Bucay, signs of her skin cancer was almost undetected because it hid in a peculiar part of her body – her belly button.

The dermatologist first noticed a flaky skin in her belly button or navel. She disregarded it at first since it didn’t look that much. But to be safe, the mother of three went to get a skin biopsy to know what caused the shedding of skin in her navel.

It turns out that cancer has been growing in camouflage in her belly button for a long time. According to the results, that area of her body has a stage four melanoma, which is the worst and deadliest form of skin cancer. Melanoma claims 80 percent of skin cancer mortality rates in the US and is the most common cancer in the country.

Dr. Bucay said it is very significant that skin cancer, especially melanoma can actually be that insidious. She immediately has that skin cancer treated. Fortunately, now, she is free from cancer.

What happened to Dr. Bucay is a big realization that skin cancer can easily avoid detection even from an experienced dermatologist. She said she is very lucky to have the best medical care, but she also strongly encourage everyone to have suspicious signs and symptoms checked as early as possible.

Bucay lives in a sunny region, but she is not sure if the sun was the cause of her melanoma. However, she said that she used to sunbathe in her teens. The sun rays can be damaging. Sunbathing without proper skin protection can increase the risk of cancer.

There is a white blood cell in the epidermis of the skin called the Langerhans cell. This manages the antigens that could cause cancer. It defends the skin from harmful antigens. Just 15 minutes being exposed to UVA or UVB radiation can deplete these cells weakening the skin’s natural resistance to skin cancer.

You can protect yourself from skin cancer and there is a 98 percent of surviving it if found early.  Protecting the skin is not all about applying sun screen. You should also check unusual places in your body. it could be in the navel or in between your finger- or toe-nails. Take food or beverages rich with vitamin D, so that you wont rely on the sun for it. Get regular examination and do daily healthy habits.

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