How to Prevent Skin Cancer|ways to reduce skin cancer
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Over 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually, and more than 90% of these are directly related to too much sun or UV exposure; however, the good news is that with preventative strategies, as well as with early detection and treatment of any worrisome skin lesions, you greatly increase your chances of preventing skin cancer.
Understand that most skin cancers are easily curable. Even though the word "cancer" can strike fear in us the moment we hear it, skin cancer is actually one of the most curable forms of cancer. When caught early, it can oftentimes be removed with no long-term ramifications.
The key to curability depends on both the specific type of skin cancer, as well as the time-frame in which it is noticed and excised by a physician.
If the skin cancer is either a precursor lesion (a precancerous growth), a "squamous cell carcinoma," or a "basal cell carcinoma," it can most likely be removed and cured. These are types of cancers or pre-cancers that, when caught early, rarely cause long-term consequences.
Melanoma, on the other hand, is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Although it is the least common diagnosis, it is the leading cause of death from skin cancer, and the fastest one to metastasize (spread) to other areas of the body.
Fortunately, with early identification, many melanomas can be noticed, excised, and effectively "cured" as well; however, the risk is certainly higher with this subtype and thus of greater concern.
Biopsy or excise any worrisome lesions. When you see your doctor and show them your skin lesion, they will evaluate it and may recommend biopsying (taking a sample of) or excising (completely cutting out) any lesions that are potential cancers. If your doctor recommends a biopsy or excision, they will most likely send you to a medical specialist (a dermatologist, who specializ