Are you and your skin ready for summer vacation? In honor of Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention month the Boulder Medical Center dermatology team wants you to be more aware of the health of your skin. To help you understand your skin and learn what to look for when examining your skin for possible skin cancer it is recommended to keep an eye on your moles and watch for any changes or irregularities. Are you self-checking your moles often by using the ABCDEs?
ABCDEs-1 (chart image)
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. There are several forms of skin cancer. Basal and squamous cell cancers are the most common forms and are strongly related to the amount of sun exposure. These are less likely to be life threatening but still need to be treated immediately.
Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 65-90% of melanoma is caused by exposure to ultraviolet light. Extended exposure to ultraviolet light, that comes from sun, tanning beds and sunlamps cause the skin to change texture, age prematurely and lead to skin cancer.
One of the most dangerous habits that increase your risk for melanoma skin cancer by 75% is indoor tanning use. The more hours spent tanning, the greater the risk according to a study conducted by the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR). Rates of melanoma have been increasing rapidly in the United States. The American Cancer Society predicts that nearly 73, 870 Americans are newly diagnosed with melanoma and about 9,940 people will die of the disease annually.
Help protect yourself from getting skin cancer by getting your skin examined yearly and doing self-skin examinations every month for any new moles or changes using the ABCDEs. Here are some important tips to remember to keep your skin healthy this summer:
- Use sunscreen daily with Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide
- Avoid mid-day sun
- Use sun protective clothing
- Wear sunglasses/hats
- Most importantly avoid indoor tanning bed use.
For further questions or to schedule your annual skin exam, please contact Boulder Medical Center dermatology at 303-440-3013