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Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection Tips

Flip the odds in your favor with early detection of skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in the U.S., and your chances of developing this potentially serious disease are about one in five, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. However, if you know the warning signs to look for and immediately seek medical attention if you suspect you may have skin cancer, you can significantly improve your chances of beating it in its early stages.

Skin Cancer ABCs
There are three kinds of skin cancer:

A. Basal cell carcinoma
B. Squamous cell carcinoma
C. Melanoma

Basal cell carcinoma grows slowly, rarely spreads to other parts of your body and almost never causes death. It typically looks like a shiny, bumpy red patch on your skin. Squamous cell skin cancer looks like a hard, scaly lump of tissue, but it can sometimes appear ulcerated. If it spreads to other parts of your body, it can prove fatal. Melanoma is the most threatening type of skin cancer, causing around 10,000 deaths every year in the U.S. One early sign of this disease is a change in the size, tone, shape or texture of a mole on your skin. All three forms of skin cancer can result from sun exposure and/or ultraviolet radiation.

Early Warning Signs of Skin Cancer

  • A misshapen or evolving mole
  • Raised red and itchy spots
  • Pearlescent bumps with dark areas
  • Pink areas with radiating blood vessels
  • Sores that don’t heal
  • An oozing, bleeding or scaly sore

What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk
You can reduce your risk of skin cancer with the following preventive measures:

  • Avoid direct sunlight
  • Do not use tanning beds
  • Wear a hat, sunglasses and protective clothing when outdoors
  • Use sunscreen daily
  • Do a thorough exam of your skin once a month
  • Get annual medical exams

Factors That Increase Your Risk For Skin Cancer
The biggest risk factor for skin cancer is ultraviolet damage, especially if you are fair-skinned, have freckles and are prone to burning. Additional risk factors include:

  • Heredity
  • Living in the tropics
  • Living at a high altitude
  • Spending lots of time outdoors
  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Taking specific medicines

When to See Your Doctor
If you detect any signs of skin cancer, see your doctor right away. Drop into Prime Urgent Care in the Pearland, Texas, region for the medical assistance you need this summer. Check in online and visit our clinic today.