Posts for tag: Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the most frequent type of cancer among Americans, reports the CDC. Fortunately, you can prevent it, and early detection affects cures. In Port Charlotte, FL, Dr. Stephen Chiarello performs skin cancer surgeries, and he and his staff at The Dermatology and Skin Care Center of SW FL show people excellent prevention strategies.
Detect and prevent
The Skin Cancer Foundation says that knowledge about these malignancies gives patients the power to prevent and detect them in their earliest, and most curable, stages. This philosophy applies to all skin cancers, including the most common kinds: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma.
While BCC and SCC stay localized and do not spread, they can be disfiguring and cause serious health problems. Melanoma is known for its spread to other bodily organs and for its high mortality rate in advanced cases.
So, detect and prevent to keep your skin--and your overall health--vibrant.
Detecting skin cancer
Along with the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr. Chiarello recommends his Port Charlotte patients follow these early detection practices to avoid a skin cancer diagnosis and surgery:
- Come to the office once a year for a total skin exam beginning at age 40.
- Do a self-exam at home once a month, looking for changes in skin color and texture and in the number of moles (most people have about 50).
- Report any concerning areas to your skin doctor right away, particularly if you have a spot which is slow to heal, itches, oozes, hurts or bleeds.
Also, use this memory jogger to examine your existing moles:
- A for asymmetry. Moles should be similar in size and shape on each half.
- B for border. Healthy moles have well-defined, smooth edges (no notches or scallops).
- C for color. Moles are brown, black or beige. Suspicious moles are multi-colored.
- D for diameter. This measurement should not change; healthy moles are about the size of a pencil-top eraser or smaller.
- E for evolution. Your moles should look the same indefinitely.
Preventing skin cancer
The culprit is the sun and its UV radiation. So, we must limit how much our skin absorbs on a daily basis and cumulatively over a life time. Additionally, no one should use artificial tanning beds, another source of excessive UV radiation exposure.
Here's how you can help yourself and your loved ones avoid skin cancer:
- Wear SPF 30 or higher sunscreen, and re-apply it every two hours.
- Cover-up in the sun with long-sleeves and a broad-brimmed hat.
- Stay indoors during peak sun hours of 10 am to 2 pm.
- Seek shade, and wear sunglasses.
- Keep babies and small children in the shade, too.
It's your skin
Take care of it. In Port Charlotte, The Dermatology and Skin Care Center of SW FL, your highly skilled dermatologist is Dr. Stephen Chiarello. Avoid skin cancer surgery. Book your annual skin exam with him now. Have healthy skin for life. Phone (941) 625-2878.
With the warmer months just around the corner you may be getting ready to plan some fun in the sun. The summertime always finds children spending hours outside playing, as well as beach-filled family vacations, backyard barbeques, and more days just spent soaking up some much-needed vitamin D.
While it can certainly be great for our emotional and mental well-being to go outside, it’s also important that we are protecting our skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. These are some habits to follow all year long to protect against skin cancer,
Wear Sunscreen Daily
Just because the sun isn’t shining doesn’t mean that your skin isn’t being exposed to the harmful UVA and UVB rays. The sun’s rays have the ability to penetrate through clouds. So it’s important that you generously apply sunscreen to the body and face about 30 minutes before going outside.
Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that also protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Everyone should use sunscreen, even infants. Just one sunburn during your lifetime can greatly increase your risk for developing skin cancer, so always remember to lather up!
Reapply Sunscreen Often
If you are planning to be outdoors for a few hours you’ll want to bring your sunscreen with you. After all, one application won’t be enough to protect you all day long. A good rule of the thumb to follow is, reapply sunscreen every two hours. Of course, you’ll also want to apply sunscreen even sooner if you’ve just spent time swimming or if you’ve been sweating a lot (e.g. running a race or playing outdoor sports).
Seek Shade During the Day
While feeling the warm rays of the sun on your shoulders can certainly feel nice, the sun’s rays are at their most powerful and most dangerous during the hours of 10am-4pm. If you plan to be outdoors during these times it’s best to seek shady spots. This means enjoying lunch outside while under a wide awning or sitting on the beach under an umbrella. Even these simple measures can reduce your risk for skin cancer.
See a Dermatologist
Regardless of whether you are fair skinned, have a family history of skin cancer or you don’t have any risk factors, it’s important that everyone visit their dermatologist at least once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening. This physical examination will allow our skin doctor to be able to examine every growth and mole from head to toe to look for any early signs of cancer. These screenings can help us catch skin cancer early on when it’s treatable.
Noticing changes in one of your moles? Need to schedule your next annual skin cancer screening? If so, a dermatologist will be able to provide you with the proper care you need to prevent, diagnose and treat both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.