The Dark Side: Skin Cancer
But, what does it mean?
If things keep going the way they are, 1 out of 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 65.
There are many types of skin cancer, but the most common are Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Melanoma. These cancers can occur to anyone, anywhere on the body, and can even be in your eyes, mouth or under your nails! Although basal and squamous cell carcinomas account for almost 95% of skin cancer cases, melanoma is responsible for 70% of deaths related to skin cancer.
The Bad, But Treatable Ones: Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers.
Unlike melanoma skin cancers, basal and squamous carcinomas are not usually fatal and are treatable through surgery. Might seem easy, but surgical treatments can be painful and result in scars. These types of cancer are more frequent on parts of the body that are most exposed to the sun, such as our faces, our ears, our neck and even our forearms.
Basal Cell Carcinoma.
They are the most common type of skin cancer. Their incidence has drastically increased over the past years and continues to rise. They usually appear as a red lump or scaly areas; however, no clear precursors have been identified. They grow slowly, rarely spread to other parts of the body and can be removed surgically.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
They are the second most common form of skin cancer. They appear as a thickened red scaly spot at body sites most often exposed to UV radiation. As they sometimes metastasize they are more dangerous than basal cell carcinomas. However, they also tend to grow very slowly and can usually be removed surgically before they become a serious risk.
The Ugly One: Melanoma.
Malignant melanoma is the rarest but most dangerous type of skin cancer and it is one of the most common types of cancer among 20-30 year olds. Malignant melanoma may arise as a new mole or as an existing mole, freckle, and spot that changes in color, size, or sensation. Melanomas tend to have an irregular outline and a patchy coloring, itching may be another common characteristic but is also found in normal moles. If melanoma is recognized and treated on time, the chances of survival are pretty good, so please check yourself often! If untreated, the tumor can develop rapidly and cancer cells may spread to other parts of the body.
How Can You Spot Those Ugly Ones?
1. Remember the ABC of Melanoma.
2. Get Naked More Often.
Remember to constantly check yourself for new marks and spots or changes in existing spots. As soon as you find something weird, just go get naked in front of your doctor. #Awkward but may save your life!
ps. Taking selfies of your weird spots might help you track changes to your skin too. We endorse selfies.
3. Get A Skin Check.
Visit your doctor at least once a year to get your skin checked.
4. Always #STAYSHADY.
How? Visit our #STAYSHADY page.