As the sun shines brightly and summer activities are in full swing, it’s the perfect time to bring attention to the realities and risks of skin cancer. Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70? Being aware, focusing on prevention, and understanding the facts about skin cancer can make a significant difference.

Understanding Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is characterized by the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the skin’s outermost layer. These mutated cells can multiply rapidly, forming malignant tumors. There are four main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), melanoma, and Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). The appearance of skin cancer can vary significantly between individuals and is primarily caused by exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun or tanning beds. Fortunately, early detection and treatment can manage many skin cancers effectively or even catch them at a precancerous stage.

How to Prevent Skin Cancer

  1. Avoid Artificial Tanning: Tanning beds, booths, and sunlamps emit harmful UV rays that increase the risk of skin cancer.
  2. Wear Protective Clothing: Even on hot days, choose long sleeves and pants made from breathable fabrics like linen and cotton to block UV rays.
  3. Use Hats Wisely: A wide-brimmed hat can protect your face, neck, and shoulders from the sun.
  4. Apply Sunscreen: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Daily application is essential, even on cloudy days.
  5. Reapply Sunscreen Regularly: Reapply every two hours when outdoors, and more frequently if you are swimming or sweating.
  6. Seek Shade: Whenever possible, stay in the shade, especially during midday when the sun’s rays are strongest.
  7. Perform Regular Skin Checks: Use a full-length mirror and a hand mirror to examine your entire body. Look for new or unusual moles, dome-shaped growths, scaly patches, or sores that haven’t healed.
  8. Consult Your Doctor: For more information about skin cancer, skin checks, and prevention methods, reach out to your healthcare provider. If you notice any concerning spots, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice.

Prevention and early detection are crucial in the fight against skin cancer. Adopting sun-safe habits and performing frequent skin checks can significantly reduce your risk and protect your family from harmful UV rays. Take a moment today to examine your skin for any irregularities, and contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Translate »