Skin cancer is the most common variety of cancer found in people in the U.S., affecting millions of people each year. The good news is that skin cancer is also one of the most treatable cancers when caught early.
In honor of Skin Cancer Awareness Month in May, here are a few important things to know about skin cancer, and how to protect yourself and reduce your risk:
- The most common varieties of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, sometimes known as BCC, and squamous cell carcinoma, or SCC. These cancers are often caused by repeated exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds.
- Early detection is key to the best chance of successful treatment of skin cancer. Regular self-exams and doctor check-ups can help identify any potential problems early on. If you spot anything unusual on your skin, it is always a good idea to see the doctor. You should also schedule annual skin cancer screenings with an experienced dermatologist.
- Treatment for skin cancer can vary depending on the type and severity of the cancer. In many cases, surgery is used to remove the tumor. Other treatments may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy. If you are diagnosed with skin cancer, your doctor will make a recommendation regarding the most effective treatment for your unique situation.
- Skin cancer prevention is key. Limiting your exposure to UV radiation, using sunscreen, and wearing protective clothing can help reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. It is vital that patients wear sunscreen every day as UV rays can even cause harm through office windows - when you aren't even outside!
Regular Skin Cancer Screenings And Evaluations Are Critical
By taking the proper steps to protect the skin, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer in your lifetime. But even with the best sun protection habits, sun damage can occur. A baseline skin check with an experienced dermatologist is a great way to keep track of new or changing spots, discoloration, or patches that appear. Get started today by contacting our practice to learn more about screenings and services that will help you prevent skin conditions like skin cancer.