Why is Best Day Ever Gifts so concerned with spreading Skin Cancer Awareness? Because of Math. Numbers. Statistics. Do you have skin? Have you had a sunburn? Gone to a tanning bed? Fried outside in baby oil, like a piece of chicken from KFC?
According to The American Cancer Society:
Skin Cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. In fact, more skin cancers are diagnosed in the US each year than all other cancers combined. The number of skin cancer cases has been going up over the past few decades. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their life. Mostly caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet rays - anyone can get it, regardless of skin color. Whether you’re exposed to the sun’s UV rays or visit an indoor tanning salon, each shade darker your skin gets, damage is occurring. As this damage builds, you speed up the aging of your skin and increase your risk for all types of skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
The good news is, when caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable. Skin cancer is mostly preventable, and mostly detectable! That’s why self exams and yearly Dermatology exams are so important. Know the warning signs: Any spot that is different from others, changes, itches or bleeds, should be seen by a dermatologist.
A few quick prevention tips:
- Wear protective clothing. ...
- Make sunglasses your favorite accessory.
- Limit your sun time, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. ...
- Use sunscreen and use it right, like my favorite here...
- Say no to tanning. ...
- Give up the vitamin D excuse. ...
A few quick Detection Tips:
Use the “ABCDE rule” to look for some of the common signs of Melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer:
If you cut it in half, does it look the same on each side?
The edges are irregular, like someone was coloring outside the lines.
The color or even shade is not the same all over. Could be brown, black, pink, red, white, or blue.
The spot is larger than ¼ inch across – about the size of a pencil eraser.
The spot is changing, in size, shape, color, elevation, itchiness, tenderness, etc. May change from feeling normal to scabby or crusty.
UGLY DUCKLING This method is based on the concept that these melanomas look different — they are "ugly ducklings" — compared to surrounding moles. The premise is that the patient’s “normal” moles resemble each other, like siblings, while the potential melanoma is an “outlier,” a lesion that, at a given moment in time, looks or feels different than the patient’s other moles, or that over time, changes differently than the patient’s other moles.
Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers
Basal and Squamous Cell Carcinomas are not as dangerous as melanoma, but they are much more common.
Basal cell carcinomas, or cancers, usually grow on areas that get the most sun, such as the face, head, and neck. But they can show up anywhere. Look for:
Squamous cell carcinomas, or cancers, also tend to grow on areas that get sun, such as the face, ear, neck, lip, and hands. But they can also show up anywhere. Look for:
Not all skin cancers look like these descriptions, though, so point out anything you’re concerned about to your doctor. That would include:
If prevention hasn’t been your “thing”, detection can. Be proactive in caring for your skin - it’s the only skin you have!
Do you have any experience with Skin Cancer? Comment below!
Photo credit Skin Cancer.Org