Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer and the number of cases seen is increasing. However, the earlier it’s identified, the more effective treatment can be. Some people are at higher risk of skin cancer than others, but anyone can get it.
The two main causes of skin cancer are the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from sun exposure and from tanning beds. One in five Americans will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer before the age of 70.
Look at your skin regularly. Skin cancer can be found anywhere on the body, not just the parts that are most exposed to the sun. Check your body all over for any moles or growths that are changing, growing in size, bleeding or that look different from the rest. The best way to do this is to stand in front of a full-length mirror and use a hand mirror to help view any moles, blemishes or birthmarks from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Take note if something unusual shows up and be sure to mention it to your doctor.
Skin cancer may be the most common type of cancer but it is also one of the most preventable. Being outside can be a good thing but you need to take steps to protect yourself from the dangers. Avoid long periods of strong sunlight and practice sun safety. Seek shade, cover up, and apply sunscreen regularly.
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