Believe it or not, applying SPF when you go to the beach just isn’t enough! According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. Educating yourself on how the environment and your daily skin care routine impacts your risk of skin cancer is vital to prevention.
In honor of UV Safety Month, we encourage you to stay in the know! Here are five not-so-common skin cancer facts to keep in mind all summer long:
1.The Computer Screen
While the computer screen won’t necessarily give you skin cancer, it can worsen any sun damage that has already occurred. So if it’s not already, applying sunscreen should be part of your daily routine!
2. Indoor Tanning
You may want to hit the tanning salon to get a “healthy glow” but there’s nothing healthy about it. Indoor tanning beds produce an intensified level of UV radiation in a short period of time, which greatly increases your chances of skin cancer.
3. Look Beyond the Brown Spots
Skin cancer lesions and spots can form in different colors, sizes, and shapes. While it’s important to get your yearly head-to-toe check, don’t overlook moles or birthmarks that are starting to change or new spots that you’ve never seen before.
Give yourself a “spot check” by knowing the ABCDE’s of skin cancer:
- Asymmetry: One side of a mole or birthmark does not match the other side.
- Border: Irregular or scalloped borders.
- Color: Colors vary and may have shades of tan, brown and black or sometimes white, red, pink or blue.
- Diameter: If the spot is larger than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) however, sometimes it can be smaller.
- Evolving: If the mole or skin lesion is suddenly changing size, shape and/or color.
If you notice any spots that fit the above description, make an appointment with a doctor to have it further examined.
4. Apply Sunscreen Often
When spending the day in the sun one application of sunscreen isn’t going to protect you all day long. Remember to re-apply at least every two hours, especially if you will be swimming or sweating. This also goes for sweatproof and waterproof sunscreen. Your skin will thank you!
5. Men are Diagnosed More Than Women
It is estimated that 91,270 new cases of melanomas will be diagnosed by the end of 2018 (about 55,150 in men and 36,120 in women). Here are some reasons why men are more at risk:
- They spend more time in the sun throughout their lifetime
- They’re more likely to have occupations that require them to be in an outdoor environment
- Their skin care products such as lotions and creams do not come with sunblock as opposed to the vast amount for women on the market.
For more information about skin cancer treatment and prevention, Parish Medical Center can help answer your questions and concerns. Our comprehensive cancer program is recognized by the Commission on Cancer (COC). We offer the latest treatments, advances, and services in cancer treatment and care.