Prevention of Skin Cancer

Most skin cancer can be prevented. Certainly, there is no guarantee skin cancer won’t occur even if we follow the guidelines – but we can reduce the risk.

Below are some of the best recommendations:

Avoid the Sun at its brightest:

Whenever possible, seek shade between 10AM to 4PM even if the sky is cloudy.

Apply and reapply sunscreen throughout the day:

Although sunscreen does not screen all harmful UV radiation, it still offers some protection.

Apply one or two table spoons of the sunscreen to all exposed areas and use product with minimum SPF of 15 with coverage against UVA and UVB rays.

Keep in mind that sunlight reflects off water, sand, snow and ice and all these surfaces can magnify UV radiation effects by up to 80%.

Apply it 30 minutes before heading outdoors and reapply every 2 hours especially after sweating profusely or after going into the water.

Avoid getting sunburns: Just one bad sunburn will increase your risk of melanoma cancer, so don’t take sunburns lightly.

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Check your skin regularly:

Observe if there is any new growths, bumps, moles, birthmarks or freckles. Use a mirror to check on areas such as ears, face and scalp.

Seek a doctor for medical advice: If you feel you are at risk for skin cancer or noticed any skin changes during your self-check.

Warning signs of skin cancer:

  • A sore or spot that hurts, itches, scabs, or bleeds
  • An open sore that does not heal within 2 weeks
  • A growth, birthmark or mole that changes shape, colour, or texture

Exercising outdoors is generally a good thing, but not without proper protection for the skin.

With the combination of prevention and vigilance in looking out for signs of cancer, you can ensure a healthy skin. Remember, if detected early, skin cancer can be successfully treated.