Are you at risk of Skin Cancer?

Are you at risk of Skin Cancer?

The Busamed Modderfontein Private Hospital Oncology unit shares some information related to skin cancer as well as some sun safety tips to avoid skin damage this summer.

What is Skin Cancer – Skin Cancer is an abnormal growth of skin cells and most often develops on skin exposed to the sun.

Skin cancer is by far one of the most common types of cancer in South Africa.

Most common types of skin cancer

  1. Basal Cell Carcinoma
  2. Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  3. Malignant Melanoma – highly aggressive type that tends to spread to other parts of the body, maybe fatal if not treated early.

For effective treatment it is important to know which type of skin cancer a patient has as this will affect treatment options and diagnosis.

Causes and Risk factors

Ultraviolet Light exposure

Tanning Beds

Light skinned people are at higher risk

Older people, due to build-up of sun exposure over time

Radiation exposure

Weakened immune system

Smoking

Symptoms

Small waxy bump

Flat pinkish-red lesion on the arms, legs, nose, head

For Melanoma – asymmetric bumps, ragged around edges, uneven in colour, change in appearance and growing in size

Prevention

Limit your excessive exposure to Ultraviolet rays from 10 am to 4pm

Avoid tanning beds

Quit smoking

Avoid harmful chemicals

Wear sunscreen all year round and protective clothing

Check skin regularly and report changes to your doctor

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