Melanoma And Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Melanoma And Skin Cancer Awareness Month
26 May 2023
8 mins
Table Of Content
Melanoma And Skin Cancer Awareness Month

    Embrace the sun! Protect your skin!

    As the sun's warm rays intensify and summer approaches, our spirits soar, and our skin delights in its gentle touch. It's a time when beaches beckon, outdoor adventures call, and the joy of basking in the sun's glow becomes irresistible. But amidst these vibrant shades of sunshine, there's a shadow we must not ignore – the threat of skin cancer. Imagine a world where each beach umbrella protects not just the bodies seeking cover from the sun but also the mindful hearts that recognize the value of sun safety. Picture a society where wearing a wide-brimmed hat is accepted as a sign of empowerment and sunscreen is as essential as a vibrant swimsuit. Are you prepared to set out on this enchanted voyage of self-discovery, embrace the sun, and protect your skin during this skin cancer awareness month?

    Let us then unfold our parasols, pack our sun protection necessities, and embark on a journey that will permanently alter how we enjoy the sun's warmth. Welcome to a month that honors our inner and exterior light, making us genuinely shine together. Every year in May, melanoma and skin cancer awareness month roll around to increase public awareness of skin cancer and its impact on people. Health organizations, doctors, and other concerned people team up to spread awareness of skin cancer prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment during this month. In order to safeguard ourselves and those we care about from the negative impacts of skin cancer, it is essential to have a clear understanding on the causes, the risk factors involved, and the prevention tips.

    Understanding Skin Cancer 

    Melanoma of the skin is the 17th most prevalent cancer in the world. It is the 13th most common male and 15th most common female cancer. Skin cancer is the uncontrolled division of abnormal skin cells that can form tumors. Skin cancer is the umbrella term for this form of the disease. However, there are two types: melanoma and non-melanoma. Non-melanoma is further classified into two types. We'll explore both types of skin cancer.

    Skin cancer is classified into three types:

    • Basal cell carcinoma
    • Squamous cell carcinoma
    • Melanoma

    Non-melanoma skin cancers develop in the top layer of the skin (the epidermis). Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) or squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common non-melanoma type. Non-melanoma cancers typically form in sun-exposed areas such as your face, ears, hands, shoulders, upper chest, and back. Both types of skin cancer can not spread to other regions of your body, while SCC tumors can move to your lymph nodes in rare circumstances. Melanoma is the most deadliest skin cancer because it can spread to other body parts. Skin cancer can become life-threatening and spread to other body parts if not treated or detected early.

    Causes And Risk Factors Of Skin Cancer

    All skin cancers are caused by excessive sun exposure or usage of sunbeds. A few risk factors can enhance your chances of developing this type of cancer:

    • A prior non-melanoma skin cancer.
    • Skin cancer runs in the family.
    • Skin that is pale and quickly burns.
    • More moles or freckles.
    • Using a treatment that suppresses your immune system.
    • A co-existing medical issue that weakens your immune system.

    Prevention Of Skin Cancer 

    Prevention is the key!

    By following sun safety, you can reduce your chances of developing skin cancer,

    • It is necessary to put sunscreen with a high SPF to shield your skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
    • Wear protective clothing and sunglasses when you are outdoors.
    • It's better to avoid spending too much time outdoors in the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun's rays are strongest.
    • Sunbeds and sunlamps should be avoided.

    Checking your skin regularly for signs and symptoms of melanoma and skin cancer can lead to an early diagnosis and boost your chances of effective treatment.

    Screening For Skin Cancer 

    More than one in every four skin cancer cases is diagnosed in adults under 50, which is exceptionally early compared to most other types of cancer. Screenings for skin cancer are an important tool for early detection. During a screening, a dermatologist will examine your skin for atypical moles, discoloration, or texture changes. They may also use a dermatoscope to enlarge the mole to evaluate whether it is suspicious. If your general doctor suspects a suspicious mole, you may be advised to consult a dermatologist for a biopsy or other tests to evaluate whether the mole is malignant.

    Skin Cancer Safety Tips FAQs

    What sunscreen factor (SPF) should I use?

    When going outside, apply a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 to safeguard against Ultraviolet (UVB) and at least 4-star UVA protection. Before using sunscreen, consult your dermatologist to determine which is best for your skin type. You should not rely just on sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. Wear appropriate clothing and spend time in the shade when the sun peaks.  

    When and how to apply sunscreen?

    Most people do not apply enough sunscreen. If sunscreen is applied too thinly, the amount of shield it gives is decreased. If you plan to be outdoors in the sun, sunscreen must be applied twice. Sunscreen should be reapplied to all exposed skin areas, including the face, neck, and ears. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out. Sunscreen must be reapplied liberally and frequently and according to the manufacturer's instructions and doctor's advice.

    What are the signs of skin cancer, and what should individuals be looking for?

    ABCDE is the answer. This applies to new or changing moles. A represents asymmetry, B represents irregular boundaries, C represents color variation, D represents a diameter bigger than 6 millimeters (approximately the size of a pencil eraser), and E represents evolution or any change in a mole, such as itching or bleeding. Any new lesion that bleeds or scabs and does not go away after four weeks should be reported to your doctor.

    End Note

    Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves seen!

    Finally, Skin Cancer Awareness Month is a timely reminder of the significance of summer skin care tips, sun protection, early detection, and preventative actions in the fight against skin cancer. This month, we've focused on the dangers of prolonged sun exposure, the importance of frequent skin checks, and the role of education and prevention in lowering the incidence of skin cancer. Remember that the fight against skin cancer is a team effort. It is a collaborative effort motivated by compassion and a common desire for a future free from this sickness's shadow. So, let us face the future with confidence, knowledge, and a shared commitment to safeguard our skin. We can all unite to make a significant difference and make skin cancer a thing of the distant past.

    Written by
    Dr. Karpagam AnandMedical Content Writer
    AboutPharm D
    Tags :Skin cancerMelanoma and skin cancer Sun protection Skin cancer awareness month