Summer is here after a long winter and everyone is planning to spend more and more time on outdoor activities, a chance to enjoy the warm sun. As enjoyable as it is to have some fun in the sun, are people protecting themselves from the worst part of staying under the sun i.e. skin cancer.
More than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in USA each year, as reported by the American Cancer Society.
The most common types of skin cancer are:
Basal Cell and Squamous Cell: These types of cancers develop on the most common sun exposed areas such as face, ears, neck, lips, and backs of hands. While Basal cell cancers grows slowly and rarely spreads, Squamous cell cancer grows faster into the deeper layers of the skin and spreads. If found and treated early on, both, Basal cell and Squamous cell cancers can be cured.
Melanoma : This cancer develops in the melanocytes, the cells that give our skin its colour. This type of cancer can develop anywhere on the body, not necessarily on the sun exposed areas. It most commonly developed on the skin but can also start off from the eyes or mouth. If found in the early stages, it is curable, but if allowed it can quickly spread onto other parts of the body, where it becomes difficult to treat. Melanoma accounts for 10,000 of 13,000 skin cancer deaths each year.
People have to be aware of the risks of too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, tanning beds pr sun lamps. Pale skin, exposure to large amounts of coal or other arsenic compounds, family history, unusual moles, sever sunburns, weak immune system and older age are all people exposed to the risk of skin cancers.
Symptoms of skin cancer include any changes of the skin (especially size or color of mole or a new growth), bleeding in any area of the skin, a sore that is not healing, spreading of pigmentation or any itchiness or pain.
Immediately seek consultation with your doctor or health care provider if any of these signs are noticed.
It is important to use prevention measures against skin cancers such as sunscreen, cover up with clothing, wear a hat, sunglasses, seek shade and even protect skin on cloudy days.