Jim Kenyon comes face to face with skin cancer

Skin cancer is a growing threat here in Central New York, even though we don't get as much sun as other parts of the country.

Our own Jim Kenyon faced the threat recently.

He noticed blemishes on his face that weren't going away, so he made an appointment with a plastic surgeon, and brought a camera crew along in hopes of raising awareness.

â??Living in Central New York for nearly all of my life, I never gave skin cancer much thought,â?? Jim said. â??But the fact is skin cancer, including potentially deadly melanoma, is a growing threat, even here.â??

Jim began to notice what appeared to be stubborn blemishes on his face last summer, three hardly noticeable reddish areas wouldn't go away, and often would turn scaly, sensitive and slightly raised.

On the advice of his family, Jim made an appointment with plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Potenza. He immediately suspected that Jim had a pre-cancerous condition called actinic keratosis.

Dr. Potenza said, "The incidence of pre-cancerous growths and skin cancer is on the rise clearly. And you know this is Syracuse, it is not the sun belt and I see a lot of skin cancer and pre-cancer. I probably average is almost 100 a month of skin cancers and probably three times that of pre-cancerous."

In his special report, watch Jim Kenyon has he goes through biopsies for his own health and looks at the larger problem of skin cancer and melanoma, and why it's becoming more prevalent.

Watch Jim Kenyonâ??s "The Skin You're In" this Wednesday and Thursday on NBC 3 News at 5.