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The next time you consider skipping sunscreen, beware! Skin cancer doesn’t give a warning before arriving. However, of all the known cancers, skin cancer is the most preventable. All it takes is knowing what is skin cancer and learning how you can be safe.
One of the leading causes of skin cancer is the harmful radiation from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. These rays cause damage to skin cells and leave you vulnerable. What you must do is get a lowdown on preventing skin cancer and thus breathe easy!
6 Must Know Facts About Skin Cancer
1. There Are Three Types of Skin Cancer
- Basal Cell Skin CancerIt’s the most common skin cancer affecting parts of the skin that are highly exposed to the sun. If caught in the early stages, it can be treated.
- Squamous Cell Skin CancerThis usually affects older individuals but is still treatable in the early stages.
- MelanomaThough not a common form of skin cancer, it is the deadliest amongst the three.
2. The Risk is Higher in Caucasians
White skinned people with blonde or red hair and freckles are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer. In contrast, the risk of developing skin cancer is relatively low in African-Americans, Asians and Latinos. However, skin cancer that does affect this race is melanoma and when it strikes, it can be vicious!
3. Men are More Susceptible than Women
Men over the age of 50 are at an increased risk of developing skin cancer. Infact, skin cancer is more common than prostate cancer, colon cancer and lung cancer among men in this age group.
4. Some Areas are at Higher Risk than Others
Cell carcinoma, which is the most severe form of skin cancer, targets areas around the face like the nose, ears, forehead and lower lip. Melanoma skin cancer, on the other hand, is more commonly found on the legs of women and the backs of men.
5. Watch Out for the Symptoms
Be aware of moles on your body which are irregular in shape, colour or size. While basal cell carcinomas appear as small, raised red or pink bumps, squamous cell cancer appears as a rough or scaly growing lump. If a mole is jagged around the edges, wider than one-fourth of an inch and not the same colour all over, it’s a symptom of melanoma.
6. Use Sunglasses, Umbrella and Lipstick
In addition to sunscreen, protect yourself with a good pair of sunglasses, lipstick and an umbrella. There are sunglasses made to block almost 100% of the sun’s UV rays. Lipsticks and lip balms also offer sun protection as many of them come with SPF content. Round it off with an umbrella to ensure complete protection.
As deadly as it sounds, the treatment of skin cancer is easy if caught in the early stages. Prevention, however, is always better than cure. Steer clear of excessive exposure to the sun. Wear protective clothing and don’t ever skip the sunscreen. Also make sure you teach your children what is skin cancer and how they can prevent it. Stay safe!