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Be Active About Preventing and Treating Skin Cancer

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No one is immune to skin cancer. Whether you bask in the sun for hours each day or simply ride in a car with the sun beaming through the window, you’re susceptible to the disease. Working to prevent skin cancer and treating it can be done in a few simple ways to help combat it. The problem with skin cancer is that it’s the most common form of cancer. It strikes all hues of skin. Non-melanoma and basal cell carcinoma are the most common types of skin cancer.

Year-Round Fight

Ultraviolet radiation isn’t just a fear during the hotter months. UV rays penetrate through the clouds on those dreary days the same as if it was bright and sunny. These UV rays bounce off sand, snow and water sometimes giving you a deeper sunburn. Tanning beds with UV rays pump them into your body. No matter what time of year, UV rays can be a problem. The most hazardous times for UV rays outdoors are between 9 AM and 3 PM.

Check Your Skin

Skin cancer checks are important to diagnose in any type of skin cancer. Professionals do this with a dermatoscopy. You can also do your part by checking to see if you have any discolouration in your skin, any new moles or disfigured places on your skin, and any new blotches. If any of your moles are not symmetrical or look different, make sure to take note and tell a professional. Skin checks are the most important part of prevention as you can often catch a problem before it spreads to other areas of the body.

Wear Sunscreen

Sunscreen won’t keep all of the harmful rays away from your skin but can help lessen a burn. By wearing sunscreen the amount of UV radiating into the deeper levels of your skin may be decreased. It might even help prevent actinic keratoses which are scaly patches on the tops of skin that can become squamous cell carcinoma. The sun protection factor in a lotion, spray or gel is a guide as to how much sun protection is given by the sunscreen.

There are different levels of sunscreen; however, those with UV protection over 50 aren’t doing any better or worse than 50. 100 protection won’t protect you any more than 50 protection. Sunscreen should be applied to the entire body 30 minutes before going outside. The rule of thumb is to apply two tablespoons to the body. This should be applied every two hours after sweating or being in the water.

Cover Up In The Shade

Wear appropriate clothing when outdoors. This doesn’t mean you have to cover every part of your body and not enjoy the warm weather. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover your face and ears. Wear long sleeves as your arms are one of the most exposed parts of your body to the sun. Work in the shade as much as possible instead of in the glaring sun. You don’t need to plant the flowers in the heat of the day. Enjoy laying poolside under a cabana instead of floating straight in the pool. Cover your eyes with sunglasses to shield the back of your eyes from harmful rays.

Treatment

If a place on your skin shows signs of cancer, your doctor will discuss options. One of these options might be to dissect the lesion and send it to a lab to determine if it is cancerous. If it is cancerous, your doctor will discuss the options of radiation, treatment or further surgery to take out any tissue that might, too, be cancerous.

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