Among the cancers, skin cancers are the most common; surpassing breast cancer, prostate cancer and even lung cancer in terms of numbers.
However, they tend to be brushed aside because relatively low proportions of skin cancer sufferers actually die from this disease. Recent statistics show that incidence of skin cancer has doubled from the year 1994.
It is important to remember that there are several types of skin cancer, some of which are actually deadly and do cause death. Among the different kinds of skin cancer, basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, and melanoma, are the most common.
Among these, melanoma is the most serious, and when it metastasizes, which it frequently does, it can be fatal. Here are some tips to keep in mind to avoid skin cancer:
- Stop smoking and avoid all tobacco products. Smoking and using tobacco products has been seen to double one’s risk of getting skin cancer.
- Avoid sun exposure (ultra violet exposure) during early years. Research has shown that 85% of the most serious skin cancers are caused due to sun exposure, and it is the most serious, melanoma, that is most common among younger people.
- Avoid sun exposure during peak sun hours. The sun is at its hottest and most fierce at certain times of the day (usually between 10 AM and 3 PM) and it is best to avoid this noon day sun.
- Avoid tanning salons. Researchers believe that the recent rise in skin cancer numbers may be at least in part due to tanning salons.
- If you do go out in the sun, use a broad spectrum skin cream, and wear long sleeved protective clothing and a hat. Also if you sweat a lot reapply the sunscreen. Also renew application as and when the manufacturers suggest. This will offer optimal protection.
- Eat a good, balanced diet that includes all required nutrients and vitamins. A deficiency of certain vitamins and nutrients is also seen to sometimes increase skin cancer risk.
- Make sure that you have no chronic, non healing wounds, in particular, burns etc. Sometimes, skin conditions such as these can develop into skin cancers.
Sun exposure is important because it lets the body form vitamin D. It is recommended that 15 minutes a day is all that the body really needs.
So do yourself a favor and protect yourself from skin cancer. Tanned, leathery, prematurely aging skin is really not all that it’s cracked up to be!