Q: Why is skin cancer given a month long awareness campaign?
A: Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. About 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are diagnosed in this country each year. Melanoma, a more dangerous type of skin cancer, will account for more than 73,000 cases of skin cancer in 2015. Treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancers increased by nearly 77 percent between 1992 and 2006.
Q: Why are skin cancer rates increasing so dramatically?
A: There is persuasive evidence that each of the three main types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and melanoma, is caused by sun exposure.
Q: Can skin cancer be prevented?
A: The best ways to lower your risk of skin cancer are to avoid long exposure to intense sunlight and practice sun safety. Follow the American Cancer Society’s Slip! Slop! Slap!® and Wrap! rules:
Slip on a shirt: Cover up with protective clothing to guard as much skin as possible when you’re out in the sun. Choose comfortable clothes made of tightly woven fabrics that you can’t see through when held up to a light.
Slop on sunscreen: Use sunscreen and lip balm with broad spectrum protection and a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen (about a palmful) to all areas of unprotected skin. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, toweling dry, or sweating.
Sunscreen doesn’t protect from all UV rays, so don’t use sunscreen as a way to stay out in the sun longer.Follow these practices to protect your skin even on cloudy or overcast days.
UV rays can travel through clouds.Avoid other sources of UV light.
Tanning beds and sun lamps are dangerous. They damage your skin and can cause cancer.
Slap on a hat: Cover your head with a wide-brimmed hat, shading your face, ears, and neck. If you choose a baseball cap, remember to protect your ears and neck with sunscreen.
Wrap on sunglasses: Wear sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB absorption to protect your eyes and the surrounding skin.
Also, studies offer dramatic evidence that indoor tanning bed use increases the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Just one indoor UV tanning session increases users’ chances of developing melanoma by 20 percent, and each additional session during the same year boosts the risk almost another two percent.
Those who begin tanning before age 35 increase their risk by almost 75 percent.
People who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma, the two most common forms of skin cancer.
Additionally, indoor tanners have a 69 percent increased risk of early-onset basal cell carcinoma.
Sources: Skin Cancer Foundation (skincancer.org), American Cancer Society
Q: Is there a safe amount of sun exposure?
A: Sun exposure can’t be avoided and many people like the sun-kissed or sun tanned look; however, studies show:
More than 90 percent of the visible changes commonly attributed to skin aging are caused by the sun.
Daily sunscreen use by adults under age 55 can reduce skin aging.
People who use sunscreen daily show 24 percent less skin aging than those who do not use sunscreen daily
Fortunately, there are many products and treatments that can reverse the signs of sun damage. Products from ZO Medical Skin Care and lasers treatments such as Fraxel, BBL, IPL. We are offering 20% off all sunscreen products and consultations are free at Anne Therese Aesthetic Medicine so if viewers want advice in choosing a sun screen product, or a product or treatment for existing sun damage, they should schedule an appointment.