COMMON TYPES OF SKIN CANCER
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of cancer worldwide.
The death rate for malignant melanoma has increased dramatically.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the second most common cancer of the skin.
Sun avoidance is the best defense against skin cancer. Over exposure to sunlight (including tanning) is the main cause of skin cancer especially when it results in sunburn and blistering. Other less important factors include: repeated medical and industrial x-ray exposure, scarring from diseases or burns, occupational exposure to such compounds as coal tar and arsenic, and family history. Fair-skinned people who sunburn easily are at particular risk for skin cancer.
Prevention means guarding the skin against the known causes of skin cancer. Since the sun’s ultraviolet rays are the main culprit, the most effective preventive method is sun avoidance.
- Seek shade between 10:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. when the ultraviolet rays are the most intense, especially when your shadow is shorter than you are tall
- Wear light-colored, tightly-woven, protective clothing, and wide-brimmed hats (3-inch brim)
- Apply sunscreens with a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30
With a SPF 30 sunscreen applied properly, a fair-skin person who sunburns in 20 minutes can tolerate 30 times 20 minutes (300 minutes) without burning. However, the use of sunscreens should not be an excuse to spend extra time in the sun because other sunrays still go through the sunscreen, such as UVA or infrared, which can age the skin and damage the skin’s immune system.
The use of sunscreen and sun protective clothing should always be part of a program for sun avoidance and never as an excuse for increasing sun exposure.
Develop a regular routine to inspect your body for any skin changes. If any growth, mole, sore, or skin discoloration appears suddenly, or begins to change, see your dermatologist or schedule an appointment with Treasure Coast Dermatology.
Serving Martin, Saint Lucie,
and Indian River Counties