May is skin cancer awareness month. This is important because it is one of the most common forms of cancer, especially in the United States. There are six kinds of skin cancers and precancers: Actinic Keratosis, Atypical Moles, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Melanoma, Merkel Cell Carcinoma, and Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Out of these types of cancers, the worst and most fatal type of skin cancer is Melanoma.
Common signs of skin cancer include new moles or fast-growing moles that increase in size quickly, the outline of a mole looking cut or "notched," an asymmetrical mole, a mole that changes color or varies in color, a mole that has become infected, itchy, or bloody, and moles that raise up and contain a smaller lump inside of them. Some forms of skin cancer may have no signs at all, so it's important to check existing moles regularly as well.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more than 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer were treated in over 3.3 million people in the U.S. in 2012. Currently, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70 and more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.
Prevention and early detection are key to staying ahead of skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Foundation suggests conducting a monthly analysis of your skin and if you notice anything out of the ordinary, see a doctor.
Prevention is very important when it comes to protecting yourself against skin cancer. You should wear sunscreen anytime you are outside, even on cold or cloudy days. A great choice for sunscreen is EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50. This is perfect for people who enjoy spending time outdoors, as it works as both a face and body sunscreen. This is for all skin types and is also water resistant. According to the EltaMD website, this product is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective broad spectrum sunscreen. You can also try EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 and EltaMD UV Elements Broad-Spectrum SPF 44.
Other ways to prevent skin cancer include wearing a hat an sunglasses outdoors to protect your face and eyes from the suns powerful rays. You can also wear long sleeves and pants when outside to further protect your skin. You should also stay in the shade if possible, avoid getting burnt and drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. If you do burn your skin make sure to use aloe or another topical cream to treat your burn, and monitor any changes in your skin after the burn.
If you are diagnosed with skin cancer it may result in medication, either orally or topically, and treatment which can include laser treatment, surgery or radiation. If skin cancer is detected early, there is a better chance to remove cancer and be fully cured of it. You should get your skin checked regularly, especially if you notice a new growth or suspicious mole.
The usual steps and lifestyle choices are also valuable here - a well-rounded diet, regular exercise, and drinking plenty of water will play a role in keeping your skin healthy. At Physicians Age Management, we are happy to announce that we are now carrying EltaMD Skincare products, which can only be distributed through licensed physicians. We can also help you get on track with a healthy lifestyle, including diet and nutrition consultations. Our goal is to help keep you feeling young, looking your best and achieving optimum health. It's what we do, every day, and our specialty. Contact us today for a free consultation at 844-440-8444.