Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer that affects women, men, and some children in the United States. The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma. Even if you added up all of the other cancer diagnoses in a single year, the number still wouldn’t be as high as the number of skin cancer diagnoses.
People with fair skin tones are more at risk for sun-related skin cancers. However, anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of how dark and melanin-rich their skin is. You’re more likely to develop skin cancer as you age, but even young people and children can develop skin cancer, particularly if it runs in the family.
Some skin cancers are not associated chronic sun damage, especially those that affect people of color or occur in sun covered areas. That’s why it’s important to inspect your entire body for lesions.
Any type of skin cancer that’s left to grow uninhibited has the potential to be deadly. However, skin cancer is highly curable. Even one of the most malignant types of skin cancer — melanoma — has a 99% five-year survival rate when removed in time.
The best way to prevent skin cancer is to avoid the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays. Avoid the sun when it’s high in the sky — between 10 am and 4 pm. Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30 when you’re outdoors, driving, or near a window. Wear hats, sunglasses, and long sleeves when in the sun.
Also, be alert to changes in any moles you currently have. Use the ABCDE mnemonic to help you notice troubling changes:
Inspect your skin each month. Come to DERMAGNIFY each year for a skin cancer screening or sooner if you notice new lesions or changes to your existing moles.
Identified early enough, most skin cancers are easily removed, increasing your odds of remission or even a cure. Dr. Cappel removes premalignant and malignant lesions with various safe, effective methods.
Don’t ignore changes to your skin or moles. Reach out online or call the DERMAGNIFY office to schedule a lesion removal or skin cancer treatment today.