skin cancer

Skin Cancer: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Skin cancer is a severe condition that has been rising over the past decades. While some skin cancers are caused by ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun, most skin cancers have no known cause. 

Skin cancer is also one of the most common types of cancer, and it can take years for a person to learn whether they have it or not. In this article, we will be exploring what causes skin cancer and how you can prevent it.

skin cancer

Tips on How to Protect Your Skin

Here are some tips on how to protect your skin from the sun: 

– Wear sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. It will help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UVC and UVB rays. 

– Stay out of the sun during the hours when it is most harmful, between 10 am and 2 pm. 

– Avoid using tanning beds or artificial light sources such as tanning lamps, tanning booths, and sun lamps. 

– Get regular checkups for skin cancer screenings by your doctor.

What Are the Signs of Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is the most common type of skin cancer and can be caused by the sun, tobacco, genetics, and other factors. The signs and symptoms of skin cancer depend on the tumor’s location. 

For example, a mole located on the face may not cause any noticeable signs or symptoms, while a melanoma (a more serious form of skin cancer) may cause a bluish-black lump or sore. If you have any concerns about your skin, see your doctor.

Causes of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is a term used to describe any cancer that forms on the skin. There are many different types of skin cancer, but all can be treated with surgery and radiation therapy

Here are some of the most common causes of skin cancer:

– Sun exposure: Exposure to the sun’s rays is the most common cause of skin cancer. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation can damage the skin’s DNA, leading to the development of skin cancers. Sunscreen is crucial for the prevention of sun exposure and skin cancer.

– Smoking: Smoking cigarettes can increase your risk of developing lung cancer, which increases your risk of developing skin cancer. Smoking also increases your risk of other types of cancers, including melanoma. 

You should quit smoking and consider using harm reduction strategies such as quitting smoking cold turkey or using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

– Chemicals: Many chemicals can damage the skin and lead to the development of skin cancer. These chemicals include paint fumes, tanning beds, and household cleaning products. If you are concerned about your exposure to these chemicals, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your risk.

Treatments for Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with more than 1.7 million Americans diagnosed in 2015. While there’s no one cause of skin cancer, UV exposure, genetics, and lifestyle factors contribute. 

Here are some tips on how to reduce your risk of getting skin cancer:

1. Wear sunscreen every day, even if you only get a brief burst of sun. The American Cancer Society recommends at least 30 minutes of sun every day, but up to an hour if you’re outdoors for extended periods. 

Sunscreen should be applied liberally and correctly, including around the eyes. For more information on choosing and using sunscreen, visit the American Cancer Society website.

2. Get regular checkups for skin cancer. Early detection is critical for successful treatment. Your doctor can check for signs of skin cancer, including a mole that changes in size, shape, or color; new lesions; or an increase in the size or number of moles. If you’re concerned about your skin health, schedule a consultation with your doctor.

3. Consider getting surgery to remove pre-cancerous moles if they’re bothersome or larger than one cent. A dermatologist can remove pre-cancerous moles with a scalpel or an excision. You’ll be given anesthetic and local anesthesia to numb the area before the procedure. If a mole is larger than one cent, it may need to be removed.

4. Discuss the pros and cons of removing moles with your physician.

Prevention of Skin Cancer

Fortunately, skin cancer is one of the most preventable diseases, with many factors contributing to its development. 

There are three main types: melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, and basal cell carcinoma. It’s best to avoid getting sunburned and using tanning beds; however, other things can be done to prevent skin cancer. 

Sunblock is a must and should be applied even if you’re going outside for only a few minutes. You should also wear sunglasses whenever you’re out to protect your eyes from UV rays. 

If you experience itching or discoloration on your skin after being outdoors for an extended period, visit a dermatologist immediately.

Final Thoughts

While there are many different types of skin cancer, all can be treated if caught early.

There are a few key things you can do to prevent skin cancer:

  • Keep your skin clean and free from sun exposure.
  • Use sunscreen every day.
  • Get regular checkups.

If you do develop skin cancer, seek treatment as soon as possible.

Some common treatments for skin cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. While each has its risks and benefits, all are likely to treat cancer successfully.

Please visit the American Cancer Society website or speak with your doctor for more information on skin cancer prevention and treatment.