May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month
It’s May. In the Lowcountry that means beach and boating weather. Time to get out-of-doors with your family and friends and enjoy this amazing place we live.
There is something else that happens every May: Skin Cancer Awareness Month. It’s not ironic that the awareness month for this common form of cancer is in May, exactly when most of us want to enjoy the time outdoors.
By now, everyone knows to cover up, use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and protect yourself against sunburns and excessive exposure. And we all know why.
One in five people will get skin cancer, yet skin cancer is one of the most highly treatable cancers, especially when caught early. According to the Skin Care Foundation (SKF), “About 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.”
Many skin cancers begin with Actinic Keratosis (Pre-Cancers) which may appear as rough, scaly patches. The good news is that these pre-cancers can be treated.
The most common skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. The SCF tells us:
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common form of skin cancer. BCCs are rarely fatal, but can be highly disfiguring if allowed to grow.
- Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer.
The deadliest form of skin cancer is melanoma. The best defense against skin cancer is a good offense and that is where the ABCDEs of Melanoma come into play. Knowing the warning signs and how to spot them can assist in diagnosing skin cancer in early stages to avoid aggressive progression. We have more information about the five main criteria which identifies Melanoma, commonly known as the ABCDEs of Melanoma. Read more.
The The American Academy of Dermatology invites you to share your reasons to keep your skin “Looking Good.” Visit their website to read stories and get inspiration.
If you’re concerned about a rough, or scaly spot on your skin, make an appointment and let us look at it for you.