Summer is here and that means fun times spent outside…with your skin bombarded by the sun’s damaging UV rays. It’s a given that these rays can cause your skin to prematurely age – and wrinkles, “age spots,” and even skin cancer can be the result.
Skin cancer is due to the development of abnormal cells that may invade or spread to other parts of the body. The three types of skin cancer are:
- Basal cell, a slow growing cancer which is unlikely to spread to distant areas of the body or cause death. It appears as a painless, sometimes shiny raised area of the skin.
- Squamous cell, which is more likely to spread. It appears as a hard lump with a scaly top.
- Melanoma, the most aggressive type. Moles that have changed in size, color or shape or are itchy or bleed are some of the signs of melanoma.
What do you know about skin cancer prevention?
- Damage from the sun’s rays is cumulative.
- To be effective, sunscreen must be worn. Sunscreen helps block the rays than lead to skin cancer but it does not prevent it.
- Choose a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays because both are damaging to your skin.
- People with many moles have a higher risk of developing melanoma.
- Other risk factors include advanced age, heredity, light skin color and exposure to tanning beds.
- Over one million people in the U.S. each year are diagnosed with skin cancer. Unfortunately, many more go undiagnosed.
- Skin cancer is serious, but most skin cancers, if found early, are treatable.
As you age, it is especially important to have your skin checked at least once a year for any changes or abnormalities, to have any pre-cancerous lesions treated and to examine any new, changed or otherwise suspicious growths. If you have questions or concerns about a mole or suspicious growth, call to schedule an appointment, today: (732) 449-0167.