Skin cancer can be deadly. There are steps you can take to lower your risk, as well as steps to take if it does develop.
SKIN CANCER PREVENTION
The best way to protect yourself against skin cancer is to avoid ultraviolet rays. You should limit your exposure to the sun, and wear a good sunblock whenever you are outdoors. This includes the winter months as well as the summertime. Reapply your sunblock after swimming, and after physical activity. It is also important to avoid tanning salons, sun lamps, and sun beds. The damage these products can cause to skin means there is never a good reason to get a suntan. Early detection is the key to appropriate treatment. First, if you have moles, they should be examined frequently. Moles can change colour, begin to bleed, develop irregular borders, or change in thickness. Cancerous moles can be painful, or begin to itch. Second, even if you do not have any moles, stay alert to changes in your skin. These include discolourations that were not present before, skin that thickens or bleeds for no apparent reason, and any unusual growths. Abnormal growths can be dark, red, white, or the same colour as your normal skin.
CHECKING FOR SKIN CANCER
Any change in moles or skin should be addressed to your physician. Do not wait to see if it continues to change. While cancer of the skin can be treated, treatment is most likely to be successful when it is done in the cancer’s earliest stages. Having the mole checked by an expert should be your first priority. Testing is simple, nearly painless, and can save your life. Although anyone can develop skin cancers, some people are more at risk than others. If you have had sunburns in the past, a family history, or have a light complexion, you may have a greater risk of developing it. However, whether you have one of these factors or not, taking precautions is the best way to safeguard your health. Whether you go through your entire life without ever developing skin cancer, or want to increase your chance of being fully cured, these steps can give you peace of mind.