Every May is Melanoma Awareness Month, a time dedicated to spreading awareness on the prevalence of our nation’s most common cancer – skin cancer. With over 5 million cases diagnosed in the United States every year, this preventable cancer is deserving of an entire month of tips and facts to keep you safe and informed.
Cancer You Can See
Skin cancer is one of the only cancers that you can see! However, it still often goes undetected in its early stages. Therefore, we want to focus on empowering patients to get to know their skin. Check yourself in the mirror every now and again and see if anything changes. Better yet, schedule an annual skin exam with ForCare Medical Center to catch any suspicious lesions before they become a problem.
Skin Cancer Facts
Not only is skin cancer the most common cancer in the United States, it is the most common cancer worldwide! Here are the statistics you need to know about melanoma in the United States:
- 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70
- Having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk of developing melanoma
- When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for skin cancer is 99%!
Preventing Skin Cancer
UV radiation reaches you even when you may not think so. We all know that a day on the beach calls for sunscreen from head to toe, but did you know that UV radiation can penetrate clouds and bounce off of water and sand? That means you always need to be cautious of your skin’s health. Sun damage even accumulates over the years, meaning that decades of driving, walking your dog and being outside in general can wreak havoc on unprotected skin.
To keep your skin healthy and radiant, ForCare Medical Center recommends that you:
- Generously apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 containing zinc oxide 4%
- Wear protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses
- Seek shade when appropriate
- Avoid tanning beds or laying out in the sun
- Perform self-exams of your skin every month
- Seek a professional annual skin exam
Contact ForCare Medical Center
At ForCare, we can help you take great care of your skin through education, prevention, and treatments for all types of skin conditions, including all forms of skin cancer. It is important to receive regular skin cancer screenings for early detection and to ensure the best possible treatment if ever needed.
To request a dermatology appointment with ForCare, click here or call (813) 773-2456.