The Facts on Skin Cancer
Despite the staggering statistics associated with skin cancer, it continues to be one of the often overlooked forms of cancer – something that people assume will never happen to them, until it does. However if people just understood the facts associated with skin cancer, they would have the tools they need at their disposal to protect themselves against developing the disease.
The fact is that skin cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the U.S., with over two million people diagnosed on a yearly basis. In fact, one in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. So what do you need to know about skin cancer?
Tanning matters. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation continues to be one of the biggest links to skin cancer and, yet, many people continue to tan outside without the use of protective sunblock lotions as well as participating in indoor tanning sessions which can dramatically increase their risk of developing skin cancers. If you haven’t already, stop indoor tanning and start using the appropriate sunscreen when you are outdoors. This not only protects you from developing skin cancer but also slows the skin’s aging process.
Early detection is key. It’s important to stay on top of regular examinations. This includes a monthly self-examination to look for any changes in the skin. Make a note of anything that looks out of place or different from the previous month including moles and freckles that have been there for some time but have undergone some changes. In addition to self examination you should be seen by a dermatologist on a regular basis to be checked from head to toe. Your doctor will help you determine how often you should be seen based on your skin and risk factors.
Protecting your skin from the sun at all times – even during the winter – every time you are outdoors, is essential to your skin staying healthy, as is following a regular regime of self-exams and getting checked by a dermatologist. These two things alone will allow you to stay in control of your skin’s health and to immediately know if something is not as it should be so that you can seek the care of a doctor. The earliest care is the most effective and successful care so don’t let anything out of the ordinary slide.