Skin cancer is generally one of either basal or squamous cell cancers that affect the skin of a patient in some ways. There are several common varieties of skin cancer known, with cases appearing frequently across the globe.
Skin cancer is becoming more prevalent with each passing year, although it is one of the most preventable cancers known to researchers. When your mother told you to wear a hat while gardening, and sunscreen when playing baseball, she was 100% correct. The best preventative measure that can be taken against the development of skin cancer is to prevent excess or extreme exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. Good habits begin in early childhood, and if parents teach their children about the sun’s danger, the number of cases should begin to decrease in the future.
There are of course other causes for skin cancer, including environmental irritants and genetic predisposition. But you should take all possible precautions against putting yourself at risk for the disease.
Skin cancer is one of the slower cancers to develop, in some cases it has been determined that skin cancer was developing for many years prior to detection. And since you generally can see your skin, this means that the cancer stayed very small for many years.
The two classifications of skin cancer include melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. The sun is generally blamed for causing both types of skin cancer. Non-Melanoma is fairly prevalent, with around a million new cases discovered each and every year. Death from skin cancer is much less common than with other cancers, so long as it is detected and treated as soon as it is first noticed by the patient.
Surgical removal of the affected skin is often the first step in treating the cancer. Radiotherapy may also be used to decrease the size of any tumors or lesions. Chemotherapy is not necessary in most cases, although every case is significantly unique, and the patient’s doctor can best access the patient’s health and stage of cancer before prescribing a treatment regimen.
If you do not want to be at risk for skin cancer, follow these suggestions:
- Avoid the sun between the hours of 10:00AM and 3:00PM.
- Use sunscreen of SPF-15 or even higher, on all exposed areas of the body.
- Remember that cloudy days are more dangerous for sunburns than sunny days, and reapply your sunscreen every two hours.Reapply sunscreen every two hours, even on cloudy days. Reapply after swimming or perspiring.
- When possible, wear long clothing and hats when you will be exposed to the sun.
- Tanning beds are just as harmful as the real thing, avoid them.
Self-examine your skin frequently and take note of any changes. You should also see a dermatologist every few years for an examination of your skin. If you notice any new markings, color changes, sores that will not heal, etc. then you should get medical advice as soon as possible.