Skin Cancer Causes, Detection and Treatment

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We are sure you have heard it all a few times by now - wear sunscreen, don’t go tanning and get your suspicious moles checked out! So why is it that skin cancer is still on the rise? And what does this mean for you? It means it is time to take it seriously!

Reasons you may develop skin cancer:

You’re doing sunscreen all wrong. You might think you’re doing yourself a favor, but that SPF 15 won’t cover you for long. Be sure to wear a broad spectrum (meaning protection against UVA and UVB rays) sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply every 40-80 minutes and immediately after getting out of water. One time is not enough for a full day in the sun. We recommend Enza Essentials Advanced Protection SPF 30.

You’re not giving up tanning. One in every five women ages 18-29 hits the tanning bed even though indoor tanning is a Class I carcinogen - the same as cigarettes and arsenic! Just one tanning session increases your lifetime risk of developing melanoma - the deadliest form of skin cancer - by 20 percent! AND each additional session increases your chances by another 2 percent!

You haven’t even checked yourself.  Right along with your monthly breast cancer self-exam, you should also conduct a self-exam for skin cancer and suspicious moles. Be sure to check places you would not have thought of either - all over your feet (including the soles and in-between toes), breasts, scalp, even genitals. But besides checking yourself, schedule a yearly skin cancer screening with a dermatologist who can thoroughly check you. A good dermatologist can sometimes spot skin cancer before it even happens. Also watch moles you have had for a long time as they can oftentimes change.

You don’t know your family history. It’s time to brush up! Ask your parents or close relatives if any of your immediate family members have had skin cancer and share this with your doctor. If one of your immediate family members has had skin cancer, your risk is higher. Anyone with a first-degree relative diagnosed with melanoma has a 50 percent greater chance of developing skin cancer than those who do not have a family history of it.

Article by
Eau Claire Plastic Surgeon