This medical video focuses on a study into sun damage skin and how to reverse sun damage effects.
Read the full transcript »
Jennifer Mathews: Ron Mercier has spent a lifetime in the sun. Lately, all that sun exposure has started to worry him. Ron Mercier: My father died of cancer. I've had two bouts of lip cancer that have been surgically removed, and I'm in remission in that department. Jennifer Mathews: To prevent any new cancer from popping up, Ron joined a study on skin cancer. Researchers are studying this carbon dioxide laser. It's primarily used to treat wrinkles. Jeffrey Orringer: Our hope is that the treatment will also make the skin healthier from a skin cancer prevention perspective. Jennifer Mathews: The laser works by resurfacing sun-damaged skin. That resurfacing could be the key to preventing skin cancer. Jeffrey Orringer: The laser per se is not a diagnostic tool, but we did take skin samples or biopsies and stained the tissue, and it is with that technique that we were able to detect these very early pre-cancerous changes. Jennifer Mathews: The combination could treat those precancerous changes in sun-damaged skin before they progress. So far, the treatment's working for Ron. He hopes other people will benefit from this laser too. Ron Mercier: It may be a little altruistic or whatever you might want to call it, but it's something I feel if we all did a little something, it may have some impact down the road. Jennifer Mathews: Doctors hope that's exactly what happens. This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.