According to the American Academy of Dermatology, skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States. It’s currently estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Approximately 9,500 people in the United States are diagnosed every day. Caucasians and men over 50 are at a higher risk of developing Melanoma than other members of the general population.
Few realize that even one blistering sunburn during childhood or adolescence nearly doubles a person’s chance of developing Melanoma in their lifetime. As a matter of fact, experiencing 5 or more blistering sunburns between adolescents adulthood increases ones Melanoma risk by 80% and non-melanoma skin cancer risk by 68%.
Despite its prevalence, there are many things both men and women can do to reduce their chances of contracting this illness. Early detection and prevention are key to not only reducing your risk for this disease but also ensuring you catch any early signs of Melanoma before it becomes more difficult to treat. Listed are 3 things you can do to detect and prevent your chances of contracting Melanoma while ensuring you treat any symptoms early on, thus increasing your chances of survival.
Checking For Moles And Preparing For There Removal
While Melanoma can affect people of any skin tone, those with darker skin tones tend to manifest this disease on the palms or soles more frequently than those who do not. If you happen to notice any strange looking mole on your skin, it’s always a good idea to visit a dermatologist to have it checked.
If the doctor shows concern and believes it could be cancerous, odds are they will have the mole removed. The removal process is straightforward and lasts about a couple of minutes to an hour. Normally, an only local anesthetic is needed before removing the mole. Although the procedure is relatively quick and painless, patients can do a few things to ensure the process runs smoothly.
Informing your doctor about any medications you’re currently taking is something you should do prior to surgery. Also, depending on where the mole is located, it’s wise to prepare the area in advance for after surgery. For example, if the mole is on the sole of your foot, then prepare for a certain amount of decreased mobility for a week or two after surgery. For more information about moles and the removal process click here.
Checking Coloration of Affected Areas
Another important thing you can do to detect the early stages of Melanoma or other forms of skin cancer is to notice the colour of the affected area. A lesion or brownish mole which changes in colour, size or feel may be signs of Melanoma.
Alternately, small lesions with irregular borders and red, pink, white, blue, or blackish blue areas appearing on the palm of your hands, toes, mucous membranes, or the lining of your mouth, could also be signs of Melanoma. If you notice any moles or lesions on your skin exhibiting the aforementioned symptoms, call your doctor right away for a skin cancer test.
Stay Away From Ultraviolet Light and Tanning Beds
According to cancer.org, As much as many people love to tan during the summer, it’s important to not spend long periods of time under the sun as prolonged exposure could increase your risk of contracting skin cancer by as much as 80%. Tan sparingly, use a sunscreen with UV protection frequently to reduce your risks of contracting this disease
Stay Active Stay Healthy
Ensuring you follow these guidelines this summer may reduce your chances of acquiring skin cancer by as much as 50%. The important thing to remember is to stay active and maintain a healthy diet. While many believe that diseases like cancer predominantly affect those with certain genetic dispositions, lifestyle choices play a major role in the maintenance of our overall health and well-being.
To read more on topics like this, check out the healthy category.