One of the questions people ask me most often are about spots on their skin. It is so important to be aware of your skin and any changes you notice.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US and worldwide.
About 1 in 5 people in the US will develop skin cancer by age 70.
Every hour in the US, more than 2 people die from skin cancer.
Your risk for developing melanoma DOUBLES if you have had at least 5 or more sunburns.
The 5 year survival rate of melanoma is 99% when detected early.
Some of the common risk factors include:
- Indoor tanning
- Skin type
- Unprotected exposure to UVA and UVB rays
- Atypical moles
- Organ transplant
- Red hair
You can decrease your risk of getting skin cancer. Here are some ways how:
- Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF daily
- Wear clothing that offers protection from the sun, such as wide brimmed hats and UV blocking sunglasses
- Seek shade whenever possible
- Ensure your car windows have a protective film
- Schedule annual skin exams with your physician
- Do monthly self exams
- Maintain a healthy diet
When performing monthly self exams, remember the following:
If you see something new, unusual or that has changed- get checked by a dermatologist right away. It could be skin cancer. This includes:
- A growth that increases in size and appears pearly, transparent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored.
- A mole, birthmark or brown spot that increases in size, thickness, changes color or texture, or is bigger than a pencil eraser.
- A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab or bleed.
- An open sore that does not heal within three weeks.
If you ever have any questions, please let me know and I will be happy to chat with you.