The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be over 160,000 new cases on skin cancer in 2015 and this cancer is becoming an increasingly commonly diagnosed disease on a global scale. Lack of protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays and the use of sunbeds have caused a higher number of people to suffer from this form of cancer and unlike some forms of cancer, it can affect the young and the old. The article will serve as a suggestion guide, highlighting a number of ways in which you can reduce your risk and prevent yourself from developing skin cancer.
1. Monthly Self-Examinations – In terms of noticing any initial changes to your body, the best place to start is by checking yourself on a monthly basis for any visual alterations. You should conduct a full self-examination by using a full length mirror and beginning from your face, head and scalp. A hairdryer may be helpful in uncovering your scalp for closer inspection. You should then work your way down your body, checking areas such as the nails, hands, armpits and abdomen. A family member or the use of a hand mirror can also be helpful in checking your back or other regions of the body that are not easy to view by yourself. The changes that you are looking for can range from persistently itchy sores to spots and natural moles that appear to change colour or increase in size. In terms of long term support and observation, you should also visit your physician for an annual check.
2. Stay out of the sun during peak hours – During the hours from 10am till 4pm, you should avoid being in direct sunlight as this can be intense and damaging to your health. If walking in the sun, make use of a sun umbrella, sunglasses and sun cream. Where possible, walk under the shelter of covers or trees for further protection.
3. Wear sun cream – No matter what the season or even if the day is cloudy, wearing sun cream is always a useful preventative measure when it comes to reducing your risk of skin cancer. Your sun cream choice should be above SPF 15 in order to be effective and you can also purchase UV protective lip balm (made of coconut oil) that will protect your lips from the sun’s harmful rays.
4. Don’t use tanning beds – Whether you want to tan your body by lying in the sun on a beach or by going to a professional salon and lying in a sunbed, you are increasing your risk of developing skin cancer. Sun lamps that are used in salons can emit radiation that is more than 12 times the strength of the sun’s UV rays. This is all directed at your exposed skin. It has also been proven that by being sunburnt just once in your life can increase your chances of developing the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma.