Academy Award-nominated actor Hugh Jackman revealed this week that he had a recent cancer scare and is urging people to take the risks associated with skin cancer seriously.
In a video uploaded to Twitter Monday, a bandaged Jackman said he was awaiting the results from two biopsies taken from the tip of his nose.
He also implored his fans to be mindful when they’re outside and to wear sunscreen to protect their skin.
Notably, this isn’t Jackman’s first encounter with skin cancer. In November 2013, The X-Men star had basal cell carcinoma removed from his nose and a second carcinoma removed in May 2014. At the time, Jackman said he expected to have recurrences of skin cancer in the years ahead.
Jackman’s prominence drew significant attention to basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer that affects more than 3.6 million Americans each year, according to The Skin Cancer Foundation.
The condition results from long-term exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight and often presents as a slightly transparent bump on the skin, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) said the condition typically affects people who have fair skin but added that people of all colors can be diagnosed with this skin cancer.
The AADA added that for most people, basal cell carcinoma is not life-threatening and can be removed during an appointment with a dermatologist if found early.
Although it is a common form of cancer, Skin Cancer Foundation president Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD warned it is not “something to be taken lightly.”
“Once you’ve been diagnosed with a BCC, it’s very likely that you will develop more over the years, leading to continuous treatment and possibly even disfiguration,” she said in a blog post.
Additionally, the Cleveland Clinic noted that if untreated, basal cell carcinoma can slowly grow in size and invade deeper tissues like muscles, bones and cartilage. The condition can also become painful and ulcerated, leading to bleeding and infection.