When you think of cancer, skin cancer probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Most people tend to think of the deadlier types of cancer when they think of the disease.
With that said, however, skin cancer is actually a lot more prevalent and, unfortunately, a lot more dangerous and risky than most people think.
Fortunately, there are experts out there, such as the renowned Dr. Blanchard of the Las Vegas Skin and Cancer Center, who take skin cancer seriously and who focus on treating it effectively.
Before you worry about visiting the Las Vegas Skin & Cancer Center or the Centennial Hills Hospital or even East Valley Dermatology, however, you should educate yourself on skin cancer.
After all, education is half the battle, and it could just prevent you from ever dealing with this serious disease in the first place.
The Risk Factors for Skin Cancer
First things first, you should understand that it is possible for absolutely anyone to develop skin cancer.
With that said, however, some people are at a much higher risk for skin cancer than others.
If you happen to be in the group at an advanced risk for skin cancer, it is imperative that you are aware of this fact. It is also important that you have regular screenings done for skin cancer. As with most cancers, the sooner that you catch this condition, the more likely it is that you can effectively treat it.
So, who is at an increased risk for skin cancer? Well, as it turns out, a lot of people face this risk. Among them are:
- People with naturally paler skin
- People who have had skin cancer in the past or who have family members with a history of the disease
- People who are regularly exposed to the sun
- People who have had several severe sunburns in their lives
- People with blue or green eye colors
- People with blonde or red hair
- People who have and/or who are prone to moles and/or freckling
If, based on the above list, you are more likely to develop skin cancer than the average person, you need to be especially vigilant about guarding against the disease. This means having regular screenings and staying in close contact with a doctor who is qualified to treat and experienced with skin cancer.
Tips to Prevent Skin Cancer
Whether you are one of the people at an increased risk of skin cancer or not, you will be glad to know that there are many things that you can do to greatly reduce your risk of ever contracting skin cancer.
One of the most important things is to be cautious about your sun exposure. Many people think that if they do not tan or “lay out,” they won’t get skin cancer.
Unfortunately, however, skin cancer can be contracted just from normal sun exposure, especially if it’s a regular occurrence. Thus, be careful to stay in the shade whenever possible, especially if you are going to be outdoors between 10 am and 4 pm when the sun and its rays are at their strongest.
Also, it should go without saying that you should avoid purposefully laying out or tanning. This includes both tanning outdoors and tanning on a tanning bed.
Both of these things are incredibly bad for your skin, and, despite what you may have been told, no amount of tanning is healthy or safe.
When you are outdoors, be sure to wear sunblock of at least SPF 15. Many people only apply sunblock when they are going to be outside for an extended period of time, but, really, any amount of outdoor activity, even if it’s just walking to your car and driving to work, warrants liberal application of sunblock.
After all, you can never be too careful when it comes to your skin and your health.
In addition to following these tips, pay attention to your skin, especially if you are at an increased risk of skin cancer. If you notice any changes in your skin, especially as they relate to moles or freckles, have a doctor take a look just in case something is wrong.
By carefully following these tips, you can greatly reduce your risk of skin cancer. If you do happen to contract skin cancer, however, know that there are many treatment options available.
In fact, skin cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer that exists.
However, don’t let that fact allow you to take this condition lightly.
Any problems or issues should always be corrected with the care of a doctor who is experienced with skin cancer. Knowing that simple fact and following the advice presented here could just save your life.