Skin cancer can be deadly – it is estimated that 20% of Americans will develop skin cancer, and two people die from it every hour. That’s why it is so important to be on the lookout for this disease and to catch it early. Read on for some facts you should know about skin cancer.
Who is at risk for skin cancer?
Unfortunately, everyone is at risk for this deadly disease, even if you don’t spend a lot of time in the sun. There are three main types of skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Melanoma is the least common of these, but it can develop anywhere, even on skin that hardly ever sees the sun. Although it is the least common, it results in a high number of deaths because it is very likely that it will spread to other tissues. Basal and squamous cell carcinomas are usually found on the skin that has a lot of sun exposure.
You are at risk for skin cancer no matter what your skin tone is – light or dark. And, if you’ve had skin cancer once you are at an increased risk of getting it again. You are also at a higher risk of skin cancer if you have very fair skin, if you’ve had a serious sunburn in the past, or if you have a family history of skin cancer.
What can be done about skin cancer?
Of course, the best way to fight skin cancer is to take precautions to reduce your risk of getting it in the first place. Avoid tanning beds, wear sunscreen even when it is cloudy, and wear clothing that covers your skin.
Especially if you are in a high-risk group, it is important to check your skin often. Cancer that is diagnosed early is easier to treat. Check for lesions that are painful or burning, a mole that changes in color or size, or something that just doesn’t look right.
Stockton Dermatology in Phoenix, AZ, has several diagnostic and treatment options for skin conditions, such as Blu-U with Levulan, cryosurgery, and Dermoscopy. If you think you may have a cancerous lesion on your skin, don’t wait! Call (480) 610-6366 today!