What you should know about skin cancer
Skin cancer is not a joke as it is one of the most common types of cancer worldwide. So how can you save your skin and your life? Here is what you need to know:
Skin cancer – Facts you must memorize:
You can get it in your eyes
Eye (or ocular) melanoma can present as a little freckle inside your eye. Actually, around 2,000 cases of ocular melanoma are diagnosed in the US alone every year. Moroever, the eyelids are also a common site for other skin cancers such as squamous cell and basal cell. However, these often go unnoticed given their hidden location.
It is on the rise amongst youth
Since 1970, melanoma has increased 8 fold for women under 40 and 4 fold amongst young men. Research suspects that the increase is due to tanning and better detection. Furthermore, in the US alone, melanoma in children has increased around 2% from 1973 to 2009.
See Also: 5 Cancer Fighting Nutrients Worth Eating
It can develop where ‘the sun don’t shine’
Contrary to popular belief, skin cancer can develop in areas that never are exposed to the sun such as inside the vagina, between the toes and the underside of the penis. This is why it is important to have regular and comprehensive tests by a trained professional who will look at every nook and cranny.
Darker skin does not protect you from it
Although people with darker skin are less likely to develop melanoma, they still do. Moreover, when it’s caught, it is often at an advanced stage which makes it harder to treat. This means if you have darker skin, please do not underestimate your chances of developing melanoma.
Moles may be a sign that you have it
One of the most common signs of melanoma is growing, irregular moles. To know more about your moles, use the ABCDE rule as a guide:
- Asymmetry: Your mole is misshapen.
- Borders: The edges of your mole are irregular.
- Color: The color of your mole is not the same throughout.
- Diameter: The mole is larger than a pencil’s eraser.
- Evolving: Your mole is changing in color, size and/or color.
If you encounter any of the rules listed above, you must directly visit a dermatologist for further tests.
It can be deadly
Sadly, melanoma is one of the deadliest types of cancer. Undetected and untreated, this kind of cancer can spread and cause discomfort or even disfigurement.
It is not only caused by UV rays
Although exposure to UV rays, both indoors and outdoors, can increase your risk of getting skin cancer, there are other risk factors as well. These risk factors are mainly related to genetics as well as taking certain types of immunosuppressant drugs after organ transplantation.
You are not using enough sunscreen
Finally, if you want to avoid getting skin cancer, you must use enough sunscreen when you are exposed to the sun. But what is enough? One ounce applied every 2 hours over your whole body 15 minutes before sitting in the sun. You need to do this all year round and you must choose a good broad spectrum sunscreen.
Have you or anyone you know been diagnosed with skin cancer? Let us hear from you regarding your experience in the comment section below.