We all know that the sun is most intense in the summer months but it is important to protect yourself year around.
Best time of year is to get a check-up in the spring- to start skin cancer detection early! Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer and the easiest to cure if detected early. Early detection is key and that is why doctors recommend frequent self-exams.
Types of Skin Cancer
There are three main types of skin cancer:
- basal cell carcinoma
- squamous cell carcinoma
They present differently, but can all be deadly if left undetected.
Skin Cancer Screening
Regular screenings are important for you and your doctor. In your self-examination, check for these warning signs:
- A skin growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored
- A mole, birthmark, beauty mark, or any brown spot that:
- changes color
- increases in size or thickness
- changes in texture
- is irregular in outline
- is bigger than 6mm or 1/4″, the size of a pencil eraser
- appears after age 21
- A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode or bleed
- An open sore that does not heal within three weeks
If you spot any of these warning signs make sure to contact your doctor for a check-up.
Myth or Fact
There is quite a bit of misinformation out there about skin cancer. In this segment of Myth or Fact, we will answer a few of those common misconceptions.
Sun tanning ahead of summer will help save you from getting sunburned late. MYTH
Sun tanning will not protect your skin from skin cancer. In fact, it increases your risk of developing skin cancer.
The skin is healed after a sunburn. MYTH
Damage caused by sun exposure is permanent and cumulative.
Reflection from the snow, sand, and water increases exposure. FACT
Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher at least 15 minutes before sun exposure.