Over 4 million Americans develop skin cancer each year. Skin cancer is on the rise, especially Melanoma. In fact, since the 1970s, Melanoma cases have tripled.
Melanoma is the most dangerous skin cancer. While it isn’t the most common, it results in the most deaths. Death occurs because the cancer spreads to other parts of the body, due to it being left untreated. When caught early, it is almost always curable.
Basal Cell is the most commonly diagnosed skin cancer. Although it is not known to spread, an area can grow deep and wide. When left untreated, this could lead to the destruction of skin, tissue, and even bone.
While Basal Cell begins in the basal cells, the third type of skin cancer, Squamous Cell, begins in the middle and mostly outer layers of the skin. Although uncommon, because this cancer is aggressive, when left untreated, it could also spread and lead to death.
In general, risk for skin cancer is increased with lighter skin, a family or personal history of skin cancer, a history of sunburns especially early in life, a history of indoor tanning, people with green or blue eyes, and certain type of moles.
Risk also increases with age, mainly due to years of sun exposure. People with suppressed immune systems are at higher risk. And as for gender, men are at higher risk, although because of indoor tanning, the gap is changing.
A person’s lifestyle poses risk also. People who are exposed more to sunlight because of work or outdoor activity. Smokers are also at a higher risk and people who come in prolonged contact with certain chemicals.
How To Protect
Some risks cannot be avoided due to genetics, but lifestyle choices should be considered because of skin cancer possibility.
Because UV exposure is still the main cause of most skin cancer cases, it is important to use sun protection in the forms of sunscreen and clothing.
And with any changes under and on the skin, steps should be taken for the earliest treatment. All growths, changes in skin color, and mole growth can be examined by us. Do not hesitate coming in when you have any concerns.