Have you finally got through daily practice of using SPF 30 sunscreen? Will you stay covered up or take 10 am to the shade? Around 2:00 p.m. When the sky has the most rays? Did you avoid the tanning salon after Dynasty went off the air? Interested readers can find more information about them at Mesa Skin Cancer Screening .
If so, you’re doing an outstanding job of preventing skin cancer, which is the most common cancer among people over 50 and the third most common among women aged 20-39. If not, you can only go out and purchase wide spectrum sunscreen (protects from UVA and UVB rays) for you and your family—and continue using it. More than one million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, and 1 in 5 Americans may contract the disease over their lifetime.
Whether you’re winning an A+ in skin-health or just holding on with a decent C, there’s another piece of the puzzle that doesn’t have to be missed— early detection. In addition, nearly all forms of skin cancer can be treated successfully if caught early, and melanoma— the most serious form of skin cancer— is almost 100 percent curable when diagnosed and treated early.
What to Watch For There are three forms of skin cancer, and it helps to understand a little about each: 1) Basal Cell Carcinoma— This most common form of skin cancer is easy to treat when detected early and is not typically life-threatening. It often resembles a pink development, a shiny lump or a sore that is not healed. Many skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema can be confused so it is necessary to see a specialist for a diagnosis.
2) Squamous cell carcinoma—This second most prevalent type of skin cancer is not serious if diagnosed early—though it may trigger disfigurement if ignored. A dense, crusty red layer on the surface also matches it.
3) Melanoma— If left untreated, this form of cancer will spread into other areas of the body. Everyone is at risk for melanoma but genetics still plays an important role. When your relatives are afflicted with skin cancer, it is much more critical that you prevent over-exposure to sunlight.
Self-exams are your secret weapon when it comes to early detection of skin cancer, however necessary it is to see the dermatologist. Only you can keep the tabs tight enough on your body to detect fresh moles and notice improvements in your face. Have the other individual test your back and neck, and do the same for him or her, whether you stay with a spouse or partner. Skin cancer can occur in areas not normally exposed to direct sunlight, such as the feet’s bottoms, so be thorough!
Carrying out self-exams requires just about 10 minutes once a month. Coming up with a creative way to remember— do a skin self-exam any time you pay your electric bill, for instance. Here’s how:-Stand at a well-lit spot in front of a full-length mirror.
Check over the whole body, finding any shifts or fresh or unusual moles.
Look for the “ABCD’s” signs: A is for asymmetry (one hand of the mole does not suit the other side); B is for boundary irregularity; C is for color changes or inconsistent coloring; D is larger than a pencil eraser for diameter. See a Dermatologist should you find any of these.
Use a portable mirror to examine hair, buttocks and other areas that are hard to see.
Don’t neglect the fingers, elbows and underarms.
You are much more likely to catch skin cancer in its early, most treatable stage if you are diligent with caring for your skin and doing regular self-exams.