Health Plus: Skin Cancer - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Skin Cancer


Patients with skin cancer in eastern Iowa keep getting younger.

In Health Plus, one 20-something who was surprised when a bump on her nose turned out to be cancerous.

Jessica Blasberg does have a fair complexion.

But the 29-year-old Tripoli woman never worried about skin cancer, until a bump appeared on her nose.

"It would just keep coming back. It wouldn't go away and eventually it would start to bleed," said Jessica.

A biopsy last July confirmed what she least expected.

The new mom had basal cell cancer and a flashback to years of going without sunscreen.

You get into your teens and you think, you know it's not gonna hurt me and then you might go out and do things without it and before you know it something like this happens," she said.

Doctor Cassandra Foens treated Jessica with a non-invasive approach at Covenant's Cancer Treatment Center in Waterloo.

"Radiation therapy is a treatment for skin cancer that a lot of people don't realize they can have. And obviously you look at Jessica and you look at the outcome we were able to get her and that's a very attractive proposition to the young patient who pops up with a small skin cancer on the face," said Foens.

Foens says a more serious skin cancer or one in another location may be more effectively treated with surgical removal, but always get a second opinion.

"But there are certain locations around the eyes, the nose, the lips, the ears where radiation may be a better option," she added.

As for Jessica, six weeks of quick radiation zaps left her cancer free and free to spend more time with baby Taylor.

No surprise, she says hats and a lot of sunscreen are a must for her 10-month-old.

The cure rate for small skin cancers is over 95-percent whether it's removed with radiation or surgery.

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