As Summer Approaches, Experts Offer Tips on Preventing Skin Cancer05/26/13
SUNDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Memorial Day weekend is the
unofficial start of summer, and experts note that you need to
protect your skin while spending time in the sun.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United
States, but it's also one of the most preventable, according to
doctors at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
One in five Americans will develop skin cancer during his or her
life, according to a medical center news release. The most common
kind of skin cancer is basal cell carcinoma, which has a 99 percent
cure rate when caught early. The most serious type of skin cancer
is melanoma, which is the fastest rising type of cancer among men
and the second fastest among women.
Experts offer these steps you can take to reduce your risk of
- Get an annual dermatology checkup to monitor changes in skin
appearance. Do self-checks every month to monitor your brown spots
and freckles. If you have a lot of brown spots, discuss total body
photography with a dermatologist so your doctor can keep
photographic records of your moles and watch closely for any
- Wear sunscreen every day throughout the year, not just in
summer. Apply it thoroughly to all exposed areas.
- Never sunbathe. Sun dissolves the collagen and elastin that
keeps your skin healthy.
You should also follow the ABCDEs and tell your doctor or
dermatologist if your moles have:
- Asymmetry, in which one half of the mole is unlike the other half.
- Bordersthat are irregular, ragged, notched or poorly
- Colorthat varies from one area to another, with shades of
tan, brown, black and sometimes white, pink, red or blue.
- Diametersthat are the size of a pencil eraser or
- Elevation, in which a mole or skin lesion is raised or has an uneven surface.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about
skin cancer prevention.
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.