May is skin cancer awareness month and we are joining the American Academy of Dermatology to spread the message about prevention and detection.
Skin cancer prevention starts with protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. If you don’t already, start incorporating a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least a 30 SPF into your daily routine. Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects you from UVA and UVB rays, which are both incredibly damaging. The sun is especially strong between the hours of 10am and 2pm so try staying in the shade or wear protective clothing. Finally, avoid tanning beds. Indoor tanning can increase the risk of melanoma by 75%.
Detection is one of the most important steps to surviving skin cancer. Cancer spots can vary from person to person; the same type of cancer can look very different depending on the nature of the spot. The best way to detect skin cancer is to do frequent self-examinations. If you notice anything abnormal for more than two weeks, see your dermatologist. Your doctors can then do a full screening and diagnosis.
There are many different methods of treatment depending on the type and severity of the cancer. Treatments can range from surgical procedures to chemotherapy. Speak to your Doctor if you would like to know more about treatment for specific kinds of cancer.
Before you go outside this May, think about how you can protect yourself from skin cancer. Know the facts, and take the steps towards prevention. If you have any questions about skin cancer, as always contact your Doctor.