Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer: Awareness and Prevention
The Power of Prevention in the Battle Against Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. However, with the right preventive measures, it can largely be avoided.
Despite being largely preventable, skin cancer remains frustratingly common, often due to the lack of seriousness with which people treat sun exposure – the cause of over 90% of all skin cancers. The statistics are grim: skin cancer is the most diagnosed form of cancer in the United States, with over a million cases reported annually. A startling 1 in 5 Americans and 1 in 3 Caucasians are projected to develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Each day, more than 20 people succumb to this disease.
The two most common forms of skin cancer are basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. While they tend to be less severe or aggressive, they can still be deadly. The most dangerous form is Melanoma, with nearly 60,000 diagnosed cases this year alone, leading to approximately 8,110 deaths.
Risk factors for skin cancer are generally well-understood, yet often ignored. For instance, a person’s risk for skin cancer doubles after experiencing just 5 or more sunburns during their lifetime. A single blistering sunburn in childhood can more than double the risk of developing melanoma later in life.
Protection against skin cancer starts with simple measures. For those of us who love the sun – affectionately referred to as “Desert Rats” – sunscreen isn’t just a skincare product; it’s a lifesaver.
Knowing your skin and conducting regular self-exams can drastically increase the chances of early detection when skin cancer is most treatable. Familiarize yourself with the pattern of moles, freckles, and other skin marks on your body. Pay attention to any changes and consult with your dermatologist if you notice a new growth, a spot that seems to be growing larger, or a sore that doesn’t heal.
At Contour Dermatology, we believe in the power of prevention and early detection. We encourage you to be vigilant, schedule regular skin exams with us, and prioritize your skin health.
Remember, when it comes to protecting against the most common form of cancer, there’s no such thing as being too safe.