Take our Quiz to Test Your Knowledge of the Signs of Skin Cancer, the Risks and Moles
You may feel healthier with a bit of a tan, but the sunlight that warms us and make flowers grow contains ultraviolet (UV) radiation that can damage the skin. Exposure to UV radiation from sunlight can lead to sunburn, which causes premature wrinkling and changes in skin pigmentation, and can lead to skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most diagnosed type of cancer in the U.S. The good news is that skin cancer can be prevented, and it can almost always be cured when it’s found and treated early.
Test your knowledge of skin cancer, the risks and how to check your moles.
Use the ABCDE’s when Checking your Moles
Malignant moles can vary in appearance. Keep in mind the ABCDE’s when checking your moles:
- Asymmetrical Shape: Look for moles with irregular shapes
- Border: Look for moles with uneven, ragged or blurred borders
- Color Changes: Look for growths that have many colors (brown, black, tan and sometimes patches of red, blue or white) and an uneven distribution of color
- Diameter: Look for growths larger than ¼ inch (the size of a pencil eraser)
- Evolving: Look for a mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
Most skin cancer appears after age 50, but skin damage from the sun can start during childhood. The best way to prevent skin cancer is to protect your skin from the sun and other sources of UV rays, such as tanning beds or sun lamps.
Follow these steps to protect your skin:
- Stay in the shade as much as possible between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen. You need one that blocks UVA and UVB rays, with a SPF of 30 or higher.
- Wear a broad-brimmed hat.
- Wear long sleeves and long pants when possible.
- Protect your ears, nose, cheeks and hands. Since the majority of skin cancers occur on these areas, consider them top priority.
- Don’t skip the lips. Look for a waterproof or water-resistant, lip-specific product with a high SPF. Plan on reapplying often as lips are moist and lip balms have a tendency to wear off easily.
- Wear sunglasses. Choose sunglasses with UV protection. This will also protect the delicate skin around the eyes.
If you have any question about your risk for skin cancer or find anything unusual during a skin exam, talk to your doctor.
*Source: American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org
PLEASE NOTE: The information presented here is intended to provide readers with general information about seasonal symptoms and is not intended to provide specific medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should speak with your health care provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you need a health care provider, please visit Steward DoctorFinder™ or contact us at 1-888-244-9958