Good Choices Now, May Keep Your Child Safe Later


Skin cancer is related to lifetime exposure to UV radiation. Most skin cancers appear after age 50, but the sun's damaging effects begin at an early age. Therefore, protection should start in early childhood in order to help prevent skin cancer later in life. Finding a sunscreen formulated for the delicate skin of infants and children would be of great benefit in reducing the chances of developing skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Although anyone can get skin cancer, the risk is higher if you have fair skin that freckles easily, often with red or blond hair and blue or light-colored eyes.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. Artificial sources of UV radiation, such as sunlamps and tanning booths, can also cause skin cancer.

The risk of developing skin cancer is affected by where you live. People who live in areas that get high levels of UV radiation from the sun are more likely to get skin cancer. In the United States, for example, skin cancer is more common in Nevada than it is in Minnesota, where the sun is not as strong

Whenever possible, people should avoid exposure to the midday sun (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Standard Time, or from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daylight Savings Time). Keep in mind that protective clothing, such as sun hats and long sleeves, can block out the sun's harmful rays. Also, lotions that contain sunscreen can protect the skin. Sunscreens are rated in strength according to a sun protection factor (SPF), which ranges from 2 to 30 or higher. Those rated 30 block most of the sun's harmful rays.

Pre-cancers should be eliminated before they become more dangerous.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation:More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually.

Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.

Over the past 31 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.

Nearly 800,000 Americans are living with a history of melanoma and 13 million are living with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer, typically diagnosed as basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma.

Actinic keratosis is the most common pre-cancer; it affects more than 58 million Americans.

It is imperative to diagnose and treat precancerous skin lesions early since approximately 65 percent of all squamous cell carcinomas arise in lesions that previously were diagnosed as actinic keratoses. In patients with a history of two or more skin cancers, 36 percent of basal cell carcinomas arise in lesions previously diagnosed as actinic keratoses.

There are several different types of skin cancer: Melanomas

Melanoma develops within specialized cells that produce the skin pigment, melanin. A collection of these cells may form a mole, a type of benign (non-cancerous) growth. Most moles never develop into cancer, but a mole that begins to change in size, shape or color may be a sign of melanoma.
Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers

Basal cell carcinoma: are slow growing and are therefore usually easy to remove if found early on. Nearly 80 percent of skin cancers are classified as basal cell carcinomas.

Squamous cell carcinoma: is the second most common type of skin cancer, accounting for approximately 20 percent of skin cancers.

There are a number of different conventional treatment options used to treat skin cancer. Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are three common forms of treatment that have been used effectively for a number of years. The extent of your disease and your general state of health are all influential factors in determining the most appropriate treatment combination. It may be possible to avoid these treatment options if your condition is found early and treated successfully.

A board certified dermatologist, who is experienced in medical and cosmetic procedures, will not only be able to properly diagnose your condition but will be conscious of your wishes to maintain the integrity of your skin’s appearance, especially on your face, neck, décolletage and hands. In some cases, specifically formulated chemical peels may be used to reduce or remove pre-cancerous skin growth. Your dermatologist will adjust the chemical formula to treat your specific needs and create your desired outcome. Today's peels are absolutely reliable and deliver highly predictable results.

Don’t live with the worry of not knowing; ignoring a suspicious growth because you’re afraid of the diagnosis or treatment will not make it go away.

Schedule a consultation with a board certified dermatologist at the first suspicion that something may be wrong and you will find that Beautiful skin is within reach™.

Article by
Las Vegas Dermatologist