Skin Cancer Scare for Fresno's Police Chief

July 2, 2008 9:54:43 AM PDT
Doctors removed skin cancer from the left side of Chief Jerry Dyer's face. And they say it's not life threatening.Chief Dyer says he is very relieved. The skin cancer he discovered on his face was cut out and as far as cancer goes, the kind he has is one of the least fatal types.

Police Chief Jerry Dyer wears a scar near his left temple, a reminder of the skin cancer doctors recently removed.

Dyer says he's thankful a pathology report revealed the cancer is not the most serious form.

"As I understand it's called Ulcerated Basel Cell Carcinoma which means that's it's flesh eating but it doesn't go beyond that it doesn't go into the organs or anything like melanoma can."

Just two days after doctors removed 100 percent of the identified skin cancer

Dyer addressed cameras at this press conference in southeast Fresno. A Band-Aid covered the sutures.

Until now, Dyer says he never realized the importance of sunscreen.

"Skin cancer has not ran in the family before and I did not use sunscreen when I was growing up or on patrol, but I do now and I will continue to do so. It is my encouragement for other folks to do that, especially in the valley where we have intense sun."

Bill Ebbeling is a Fresno doctor who says the chief's prognosis is good, but Dyer should be cautious because there's a 50 percent chance this type of cancer will recur.

Dr. Bill Ebbeling, Fresno Physician: "Many times they do not metastasize so it's one of the safest cancers to have. However, he's going to be seeing his dermatologist very readily having his entire body checked because they are going to be looking for any other ones."

Dyer says he first noticed a red dime sized spot on the side of his head about a year ago but waited until two weeks ago to have it checked.

As for the scar left behind, dyer expects it to fade but for now he's joking about photographing him only from his good side.

"I'm going to make sure that during news conferences stand a little slightly to the right."

Dyer is the second law enforcement leader recently diagnosed with cancer. Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims battled breast cancer earlier this year.

Chief Dyer says doctors told him he got it from repeated sun exposure, so he is reminding everyone including his officers about the importance of sunscreen.


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