Skin Cancer

Every year more than 2 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer, making it the most common form of cancer. Fortunately, with early detection it can also be one of the most treatable forms of the disease. Knowing the warning signs and avoiding the risks associated with it is key. Perform self-examinations regularly and look for anything on your skin that is changing, growing, or bleeding. Take particular note of marks or moles that are asymmetrical, have a poorly defined or irregular border, are varied in color, have evolved over time, or have a diameter of more than six millimeters. If any of these conditions are present, make an appointment with a dermatologist.

 

As important as recognizing skin cancer signs is, finding ways to reduce your risk can be just as crucial. Protect your skin by seeking shade – especially between the hours of 10am and 2pm – when the sun’s rays are at their peak. When spending long periods of time in the sun, wear protective clothing like long sleeves, pants, and sunglasses whenever possible to reduce exposure, and apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more for skin that is exposed to direct sunlight. Finally, consider self-tanning products to avoid exposing yourself to UV light from tanning beds. These risk-reducing tips, self-exams, and regular appointments with your dermatologist are the keys to avoiding skin cancer.
 

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