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Ahmed Nasrullah, MD
Find Skin Cancer Early
Dulles Eye Associates
. http://www.dceyedr.com/

Find Skin Cancer Early

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States and accounts for approximately 50% of all cancers. The incidence of skin cancer is greater than breast, lung, prostate, colon, and kidney cancers combined.  Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and most melanomas are thought to be caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, either from the sun or from artificial sources, like tanning beds.

Summer’s pleasures carry with them the need for special attention to our bodies, healthy lifestyles and warm weather safety. One of the most important recommendations is to use sunscreen, but there seems to be confusion about which SPF formula is most appropriate.

The frequency of application is the most critical consideration. A sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays should be applied, as recommended by The American Academy of Dermatology, to properly cover the exposed areas of the body. Use a lip balm with sunscreen protection of SPF 15 or higher as well.

Children are especially at risk for sunburn so be sure to help them prevent one. Use specially developed products and apply them regularly and always have a hat and cover-up on hand when you are going to be out.

Things you can do to reduce your risk:

Protect yourself from UV radiation, a known carcinogen

Monthly self-skin exams

Routine skin cancer screenings

Daily sunscreen use on sun exposed area

Avoiding peak hours when sun is at it’s strongest

Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before exposure, and remember to reapply, seek shade, and wear protective clothing

Pick a sunscreen that is photo stable and has broad spectrum coverage

Melanoma does not discriminate by age, race or gender. It can develop anywhere on the body – eyes, scalp, nails, feet, mouth, etc. Pediatric melanoma is on the rise by about 2% each year, with 500 children diagnosed each year in the United States.

When melanoma is detected before it spreads, it also has a high cure rate. Regular self-skin exams and a yearly examination by a dermatologist help people find early skin cancers.

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