Skin Cancer 101
Skin Cancer 101
Do you cringe when you hear the word cancer? You’re not alone! More people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the United States than all other cancers combined. The good news is that it is also the most preventable and highly treatable. Early detection is the key! Be an advocate for your own health by following these easy tips to prevent skin cancer.
Seek shade first, but if you have to be in direct sunlight, cover up! Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen to block both UVA/UVB rays. Sunscreen really is a life saver!
There is no such thing as a healthy tan! Any change in your natural skin color is a sign of potential skin damage. Tanning also leads to premature aging by damaging DNA skin cells. These damaged cells cause wrinkles and sagging skin earlier than normal.
CHECK YOUR SKIN
Throughout the year, you should examine your skin once a month. Look for any new moles/growths and take note of any changes in existing ones. Lesions that change, itch, bleed, or don’t heal are alarm signals. If you can spot it, you can stop it!
CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL
There are many types of skin cancers, and not all of them are immediately obvious. Dermatologists are trained to look for atypical moles, discolored skin, lesions, and nodules. A biopsy of your skin or mole can be taken to confirm a diagnosis and confirm which type of skin cancer you may have. Effective treatment options can then be discussed. (Mohs skin cancer surgery has an approximate success rate of over 99%!)
Whether you are enjoying relaxing by the pool, baseball games, or family barbeques, practice sun safety all summer long. With the above tools you don’t have to be another statistic!
For more information about skin cancer, visit the Skin Cancer Foundation.