Most Common Form of Cancer
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month! Skin cancer is the most common form of all cancers. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer and about 73,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed this year. Learn how to prevent skin cancer.
Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are more common than melanoma, although Melanoma is the most likely form of skin cancer to grow and spread to other parts of the body, making it more difficult to treat. For this reason, melanoma is the most deadly type of skin cancer, accounting for nearly 10,000 of the 13,000 skin cancer deaths every year.
Risk factors for skin cancer include:
- Too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds
- Pale skin and natural red, or blond hair
- Family history of skin cancer
- Multiple or unusual moles
- Older age (though young people are not immune to skin cancer)
- Severe sunburns in the past
Most Preventable Cancer
If found and treated early, all forms of skin cancer are almost always curable. Your skin does a lot to protect you from illness and injury; but skin needs protection too. You can help prevent skin cancer by:
- Staying out of the sun during peak hours of the day when the sun’s rays are the strongest (10am to 4pm).
- When you are in the sun, cover as much of your body with protective clothing as possible.
- When outside, apply generous amounts of sunscreen with broad spectrum protection and at least SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
- Cover your head with a wide-brimmed hat, shading your face, ears, and neck.
- Wear sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays to protect the eyes and surrounding skin.
- Avoid other sources of UV light, including tanning beds and sun lamps.
- Have regular skin cancer screenings to detect possible skin cancer in early stages.
Skin Cancer Screenings
George Wooming, M.D. offers skin cancer screenings to look for skin cancer before symptoms appear. If caught in the early stages, skin cancer is easiest to treat and usually curable. If a screening test is abnormal, follow up diagnostic tests may be necessary to find out if you have skin cancer. Dr. Wooming has a Dallas dermatology location to make your visits convenient. Don’t wait until the symptoms of skin cancer appear. Be proactive against skin cancer and call today to schedule a screening.