What is skin cancer?
Skin cancer is caused by the uncontrolled division of skin cells leading to the formation of tumors. The main types of skin cancer are:
Actinic keratoses, which are precancerous growths.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), affecting the lowest layer of the epidermis. This is the most common type of skin cancer and does not metastasize very often.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), affecting the top layer of the epidermis. These are less common than BCC but can spread to other parts of your body.
Melanoma, also affecting the melanocyte cells. This is a rare form of skin cancer but the most aggressive.
How can I lower my risk of skin cancer?
According to official statistics of the WHO, on average between 2 and 3 million non-melanoma skin cancers and about 130,000 melanoma skin cancers are identified annually. Skin cancer is also known to be the second most common cancer in young women.
These seem like frightening statistics. So the question arises: what can we do to protect ourselves?
We have written a summary of commonly recommended measures to protect against skin cancer.
- Perform regular skin cancer screenings: This does not even necessarily need to be performed by a doctor. Self-examinations done on moles and freckles can help identify suspicious spots. If you are unsure how to do so, or have identified a suspicious spot, please visit a dermatologist for a professional skin cancer screening.
- Use sunscreen: Use a sunscreen recommended by doctors for your skin type and sun exposure. A general recommendation is to use one with at least SPF 30, which protects against a broad spectrum of UV and is water resistant. Apply it over face and body and make sure to reapply it regularly, to make sure that you are best protected.
- Avoid tanning beds: Using a tanning bed exposes you to different types of UV rays, which can be damaging to your skin. Studies have shown evidence, that indoor tanning can increase your risk of skin cancer by up to 50%.
- Wear protective clothing: Simple things, such as wearing a hat, sunglasses and covering arms and legs can be helpful in preventing the sun from reaching your skin. In rare cases, especially protective clothing may be necessary.
Please remain vigilant and look after the health of yourself and your loved ones. Applying preventative measures is easily done and when done where possible can lower your risk of skin cancer significantly. Share this article to spread awareness in your community. You are invited to have open discussions with Dermatologists on the caresocius platform. Feel free to read our magazine and look for more information pertaining to skin cancer.
If you have a suspicious spot, you can simply talk to a Dermatologist with caresocius.