You’ve heard it before: the best way to prevent skin cancer is to protect yourself from the sun. Sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses and light clothing that covers your entire body can help protect your skin. It’s also best to stay out of the sun for long periods between noon and 3 p.m.
Other factors that can increase your risk for skin cancer include:
- Age (50-plus)
- Family history
- Light-colored skin, hair and eyes
- Past sunburns
- Tanning bed use
There are several common skin cancers, and each one can look different. For instance:
- Basal cell cancer – the most common skin cancer. Lesions usually appear on the face, ears, neck, trunk or arms. These lesions can be different colors and may be waxy, pearly, scaly or look like a scar.
- Melanoma – the most dangerous type of skin cancer because it is more likely to grow and spread. A melanoma lesion’s borders aren’t usually well defined. It is often brown or black. The shape and size of melanoma lesions often differ from one side to the other.
- Squamous cell cancer – a common type of skin cancer. Lesions often form on the face (commonly on the lips), ears, neck, hands or arms. The lesions are firm, red bumps or flat, scaly, crusty growths.
If you notice any changes in how your skin looks or feels, make an appointment to see your doctor right away.
Regular skin self-exams are important to your health. You can also get routine skin checks from your doctor. We offer advanced screenings that accurately detect and identify skin cancer.
If you’re diagnosed with skin cancer, you can count on us for the treatment that’s best for your condition and cancer type. Whenever possible, we use minimally invasive treatments that result in less scarring, faster healing and fewer complications. To help get you back to full health, we offer information and support for you and your family.