Skin cancer can be treated with more success if it’s found early.
The way to find skin cancer early is with regular skin exams by a healthcare provider, checking your skin at home regularly and knowing your moles.
Practicing preventive measures is also important in lowering your risk.
Skin cancer is a disease that starts in the cells of the skin. It affects more people worldwide than any other form of cancer. Skin cancers requires the clinical care of physician. The most common types of skin cancers are:
Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Merkel cell carcinoma
- Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
- Kaposi sarcoma
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer.
Treatment options for skin cancer vary based on the type, area on the body and stage. Your healthcare provider can help you navigate which treatment method is best for you.
For basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, two of the most popular types of skin cancer, Mohs micrographic surgery is available at Marshall Dermatology. This type of surgery has a Cure rate of up to 99% for skin cancer that has not be treated before and up to 94% for a skin cancer that has recurred after previous treatment.
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays is the most important preventable risk factor for skin cancer. UV rays come from the sun and from sunlamps and tanning beds. There are 2 types of UV rays that can reach and damage your skin: UVA and UVB.
Here’s how you can help reduce your risk of skin cancer:
Minimize your exposure to the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when UV rays are strongest.
Apply a generous amount of sunscreen before you go outside. Use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Broad-spectrum means the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply it to all areas of your body that will be exposed to the sun.
Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, even on cloudy days. Reapply after swimming or sweating.
Wear clothing that covers your body and shades your face. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, pants, and a wide-brimmed hat. Hats should provide shade for the face, ears, and back of the neck.
Wear sunglasses with a UV coating (the label should say 100% UVA/UVB protection). This will reduce the amount of UV rays that reach the eye, and protect your eyelids and the eye itself.
Don’t use sunlamps or tanning beds.
Protecting children from the sun
Skin damage from UV rays early in life can lead to skin cancer later in life. Keep children from too much sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when UV rays are strongest. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen often to children age 6 months and older.
Keep babies younger than 6 months out of direct sunlight. Dress your baby in hats and lightweight clothing that covers most of the skin. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) approves using sunscreen on babies younger than 6 months if clothing and shade don’t provide enough cover. Apply a small amount of sunscreen. Use it only on your baby’s exposed areas such as the face and back of the hands.
Take care around sand and snow
Sand and water reflect UV rays, even under a beach umbrella. If you’re on the beach, cover up and use sunscreen. Snow is also good at reflecting UV rays. Cover up and wear sunscreen while outside in snowy areas.