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All You Need to Know About Skin Cancer

: Due to the rising number of cancer cases every year, it is high time that you should know about some important skin cancer prevention tips at the same time.

It is assumed that the number of new skin cancer cases diagnosed in the coming years will increase by 7.7 percent. May is regarded as Melanoma Awareness Month. As we are headed to the warmer years in the coming times, it is important for us to be aware of the common skin cancer prevention tips.

Types of Skin Cancers

When it comes to skin cancer, there are three major types:

  • Melanoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Basal cell carcinoma

Some of the lesser known types of skin cancers are sebaceous gland carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, and Kaposi sarcoma. Out of all these, melanoma is regarded as the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

Warning Symptoms of Melanoma

If you tend to observe a spot on your skin that is quite different from the normal ones, you should try getting the spot checked as soon as possible. When the shape or color of your moles also changes –turning darker or start bleeding, you must consult a specialist. Some of the other warning signs that you should look out for include:

  • Open sores that refuse to heal
  • Persistent patches on the skin with constant itching –especially on shoulders, legs, and chest

Pearl-like, clear red, pink, or white nodules that might turn black or brown –especially around the darker skin areas .

Risk Factors Associated with Skin Cancer

There are certain risk factors associated with the development of skin cancer in the long run. Some are:

  • Excessive exposure to sunlight
  • Fair skin or the redhead gene (referred to as MC1R-gene)
  • History of skin cancer
  • Pre-cancerous skin lesions
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Weak immune system
  • Exposure to certain harmful substances

Treatment Options

Some of the common treatment options for skin cancer include chemotherapy, long-term medication, surgery, immunotherapy, radiation, and standard excision.

Prevention Methods

As skin cancer is considered highly preventable, it is important to know of the prevention methods. Some of the common tips are:

  • Avoid direct exposure to sunlight
  • Avoid tanning and using UV tanning beds
  • Use a reliable sunscreen of SPF greater than 15 every day
  • Seek shade –especially between 10 am & 4 pm
  • Examine your skin head-to-toe every month

Consult a dermatologist in case of any doubt

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