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Skin Cancer Is On The Rise: What You Can Do to Detect and Prevent It

by kelly / June, 12 2019 01:30

Photo of a young woman and her dog on the grass looking out at the beach on a sunny day

With skin cancer the most common form of cancer in the U.S., detection and prevention are super important. So what do you do? Fortunately, there are places to get free screenings and sun protection measures that can greatly reduce your risk. Read on for the details.

Skin Cancer on the Rise

Skin cancer is on the rise and affecting more and more Americans. In fact, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). And according to the Skin Cancer Foundation it’s the most common form of cancer – more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.

Thankfully the Skin Cancer Foundation and AAD respectively believe skin cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer with the right sun protection measures and highly treatable when caught early via regular skin care checks.

Detect Skin Cancer with Regular Skin Checks

Everyone should perform regular check ups of their skin so they can spot and stop skin cancer. The recommendation by the AAD includes:

  • Looking at your body both front and back in the mirror with your arms raised
  • Bending your elbows to examine forearms, underarms, and palms
  • Examining your legs, feet, soles and spaces in between your toes
  • Using a hand mirror to get up close to the back of your butt, neck and scalp. Don’t forget to part your hair for a closer look

If you can’t reach some places for a closer look enlist some help. A second set of eyes is great for hard to see areas.

For even more tips check out these two posts:

Finally, if you notice a spot that’s abnormal – make an appointment to see your doctor.

Find a Free Skin Cancer Screening

There are places across the country that offer free skin cancer screenings through the AAD. To find one the AAD site has a great interactive map of the United States available here.

If you don’t see one near you, the ADD says to come back often and check the site for updates or sign up to be notified when a screening is scheduled within 50 miles of you. Here is a link to the AAD sign up page.

Sun Protection Measures

Another vital part of your skin cancer prevention plan should be sun protection. Here’s a refresher on what that includes:

  • Wear sunscreen or an SPF product everyday – make sure the product is at least an SPF 15 and provides broad spectrum protection
    • According to the Skin Cancer Foundation: regular daily use of an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen reduces the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40% and melanoma by 50%.
  • Seek shade during peak sun hours from 10AM to 2PM
  • Dress to protect yourself from the sun: by wearing a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses
  • Keep babies under six months out of the sun or protected with clothing and in the shade

Skin Cancer

Fight back against skin cancer by regularly examining your skin and staying safe in the sun. Sun protection can do wonders.

For even more information and research on skin cancer check out our Skin Cancer blog series.

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