Debunking Skin Cancer Myths

There was once a time, when hearing that someone is suffering from cancer was a rare thing, because cancer was not a prominent disease. However, today, most people know someone who is suffering from cancer in some part of their body. Skin cancer has become one of the most prevalent types of cancer.

What is interesting is that while there are several things that people do not know about skin cancer, there are just as many myths associated with it as well. Here are some of the most common myths, related to skin cancer:

• People with dark skin are not at risk for sun damage or skin cancer:

It is considered that people with lighter skin are more prone to skin cancer, while people with darker skin are safe. Although people with darker skin are comparatively safer, in no way is their skin completely safe from skin cancer or damage caused due to the sun’s rays. People with darker skin too need to take care of their skin, especially when they are stepping out in the sun, and they too need to invest in good quality sunscreen. As a matter of fact, darker people face greater danger, because detecting skin cancer in them is much tougher and in many cases, the diagnosis comes a little too late.

• Simply because there are not too much outdoor activities in one’s routine, they have less risk for skin cancer:

You might not be someone who spends hours outdoors, but you would obviously step out for a few minutes each day. This could be to send your child to school or purchase groceries; it could even be the time you take to walk from the car park into the mall. Adding up all these tiny amounts of times of sun exposure would be enough to lead to skin damage. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that brief amounts of time spent outdoors, between 10 am and 4 pm, are more than enough to cause squamous cell cancer. Although squamous cell cancer might not be as severe or serious as melanoma, it can become extremely difficult to treat, if not caught in time.

• Those who are out in the snow, skiing or snowboarding need not wear sunscreen, because during the winter months, the sun is not strong enough:

The winter months are the most dangerous, because during the summers, people knowingly take all the required protection, such as hats, clothing and sunscreen. However, during the winter months, the sun provides a sense of warmth that most people enjoy, but little do they realise that the sun is still powerful enough to cause damage. In addition, when you are out on the white snow, the rays of the sun tend to get reflected, leading to greater chances of skin cancer. This is why sunscreen is just as important in the winter months.

• If the day is cloudy, you can skip the sunscreen:

Simply because the sun is not visible does not mean that it is not there or that it cannot cause any damage. Even when the sun is hidden behind the clouds, the ultraviolet rays are able to penetrate and they can cause much damage to your skin. While you might not feel the heat of the sun as much, there is still the chance of you getting a sunburn. This is why, even on a cloudy day, you need to make sure that you wear plenty of sunscreen and have protective clothing when stepping out.

• All sunscreens are the same:

While most people think that sunscreens that have a sun protection factor or SPF of 30 is the best, there are actually several levels to this protective lotion too. Understanding the same is the first step towards being sun safe. For starters, if you do not apply ample amount of sunscreen or apply it incorrectly, then even the most powerful sunscreen might not be enough. If you are someone who does not like to slather on sunscreen, then it would make sense to invest in a higher grade. People who spend greater amount of time in the sun and tend to sweat a lot will have to apply more sunscreen.

• It is only UVB radiation that can lead to skin damage and cancer:

Both UVA and UVB are dangerous and can lead to damaged skin, which is why you need to look for a sunscreen that provides protection against both.

• Tanning will reduce the chance of getting skin cancer:

Simply because you are someone who gets tanned and not sunburnt, does not mean that you will not get skin cancer. The very fact that you are getting tanned means that your skin has been altered. When the colour of your skin changes, it is an indication of damage and studies have shown that more the tanning on your skin, the greater the chances of you getting cancer! When your skin has been exposed to too much sun, there is an increase in the amount of melanin and this could lead to melanoma. Some of the other problems would include wrinkles, fine lines and

Effective Ways To Prevent Melanoma Cancer

Melanoma

A diagnosis of skin cancer can be particularly hard to deal with. Even though melanoma is considered the most serious and deadliest form of skin cancer, there is always hope that, in the end, even aggressive cancers can be defeated. If caught early, melanomas are usually curable, but if left untreated, they can quickly spread to other parts of the body, which could lead to a very hard and almost impossible battle.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. Recent estimates, published by the American Cancer Society, show that the rates of melanoma have been on the rise for the last three decades. May is officially National Melanoma Awareness Month, created to reduce cancer incidence through awareness. You can personally join the fight against skin cancer and reduce your risk in a number of ways.

Tips to Reduce the Risk of Melanoma

– Wear sunscreen. If you limit your exposure to UV (ultraviolet) rays, you definitely stand a chance to reduce the risk of sunburn and skin damage. Broad-spectrum sunscreen is an effective means to help prevent melanoma.

– Don’t forget to use sunglasses to protect your eyes and wear a hat to shade your face from the sun. Reduce both natural sunlight and artificial sources.

– Visit a healthcare professional and ask about getting regular exams at your dermatologist. Take plenty of Vitamin D, eat nutritious foods and avoid unhealthy lifestyles.

ABCDEs

Always keep an eye out for unusual moles or growths on your skin. Dermatologists have classified melanomas according to these signs:

A – Asymmetry
Look for any moles that are asymmetrical, ragged or uneven.
B – Border
Typically, melanomas have notched or poorly defined borders.
C – Color
Multiple colors, such as brown, red, or white appear inside the lesion.
D – Diameter
Watch for any growths or moles greater than 6 millimeters in diameter.
E – Evolving
Does the mole or the lesion look different from the rest in terms of size, shape or color? If yes, visit your dermatologist immediately!

Get Involved!

You can start by helping local organizations >spread the word. Raising awareness in your community and speaking out about prevention and symptoms can be potentially life-saving activities. Resources such as brochures, wristbands, videos and webcasts could prove to be the key to fighting skin cancer.

Educate the public with brochures containing Info-graphics, a list of the risk factors and website links for newly diagnosed patients. Awareness wristbands can also really make a difference. Aside from being super cool fashion accessories, customized silicone bracelets have a number of other applications. They can be designed to create awareness among the community on various causes. As they are made of durable and non-allergenic silicone, people can wear them every day, reminding others how important it is to be united when fighting for something.

Symptoms and Treatments for Skin Cancer

Cancer is one of the most feared diseases among the individuals, and people suffering from it are also in fear, but the best way to remove the fear from the cancer disease is by detecting the cancer on the early stage and getting the scope of removal of it from your body.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer. About 5.4 million basal and squamous cell cancers are diagnosed each year. (These are found in about 3.3 million Americans; some people have more than one.) Melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer, will account for about 76,380 cases of skin cancer in 2016

The article explains about Skin cancer and its causes. Skin cancer is a common and locally destructive (malignant or cancerous) growth of the skin. It originate from the cells that line up along the skin membrane that separates the superficial layer of skin from the deeper layers. Unlike cutaneous cancerous melanoma, the vast majority of these sorts of skin cancers have a limited potential to spread to other parts of the body and become life-threatening.

There are commonly three major types of Skin cancer

• Basal cell carcinoma (most common)

• Squamous cell carcinoma

• Melanoma (which originate from the pigment producing skin cells)

Basal cell carcinoma (most common)

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common cancer in humans. Over 1 million new cases of basal cell carcinoma are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. There are several different types of basal cell carcinoma, including the superficial type, the least worrisome variety; the nodular type, the most common; and the morpheaform, the most challenging to treat because the tumors often grow into the surrounding tissue (infiltrate) without a well-defined border.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for about 20% of all it but is more common in immunosuppressed people. In most instances, its biologic behavior is much like basal cell carcinoma with a small but significant chance of distant spread. Less common include melanoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, atypical fibroxanthoma, cutaneous lymphoma, and dermatofibrosarcoma.

Melanoma

The most dangerous form of cancer, these cancerous growths develop when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations (genetic defects) that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. These tumors originate in the pigment-producing melanocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis. Melanomas often resemble moles; some develop from moles. The majority of melanomas are black or brown, but they can also be skin-colored, pink, red, purple, blue or white. Melanoma is caused mainly by intense, occasional UV exposure (frequently leading to sunburn), especially in those who are genetically predisposed to the disease. Melanoma kills an estimated 10,130 people in the US annually. If melanoma is recognized and treated early, it is almost always curable, but if it is not, This can advance and spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes hard to treat and can be fatal.

Risk factors for skin cancer include:

• Too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (from sunlight or tanning beds and lamps)

• Pale skin (easily sunburned, doesn’t tan much or at all, natural red or blond hair)

• Exposure to large amounts of coal tar, paraffin, arsenic compounds, or certain types of oil

• You or members of your family have had skin cancers

• Multiple or unusual moles

• Severe sunburns in the past

• Weakened immune system

• Older age (although melanomas are also found in younger people)

Signs and symptoms of skin cancer

Skin cancer can be found early, and you and your health care providers play key roles in finding skin cancer. Learn how to examine your skin for changes. If you have any of these symptoms, see a provider:

• Any change on your skin, especially in the size or color of a mole, growth, or spot, or a new growth (even if it has no color)

• Scaliness, roughness, oozing, bleeding, or a change in the way an area of skin looks

• A sore that doesn’t heal

• The spread of pigment (color) beyond its border, such as dark coloring that spreads past the edge of a mole or mark

• A change in sensation, such as itchiness, tenderness, or pain

How to prevent?

Many types of cancer can be prevented by avoiding triggers that cause tumors to develop. Prevention strategies include protection from the sun by the use of sunscreens, protective clothing, and avoidance of the sun during the peak hours of 9 AM to 3 PM. Parents should ensure children are protected from the sun. Do not use tanning beds, which are a major cause of excess ultraviolet light exposure and a significant risk factor for skin cancer.

How it is treated?

In choosing the best treatment option, your doctor will consider your age and general health, the type and size of cancer, where it is on your body and what you want. The treatment choice will also depend on whether the skin cancer has spread elsewhere in your body.

Types of treatment include:

• Surgery

• Freezing

• Scraping

• Radiotherapy

• Chemotherapy.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the many countries. The two most common types are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. They usually form on the head, face, neck, hands, and arms. Another type of skin cancer, melanoma, is more dangerous but less common.

Anyone can get skin cancer, but it is more common in people who

• Spend a lot of time in the sun or have been sunburned

• Have light-colored skin, hair, and eyes

• Have a family member with skin cancer

• Are over age 50