Skin cancer is a huge concern especially during the summer months when all we want to do is take a dip in a pool and enjoy a refreshing drink outdoors. Here are 5 facts you may not know about skin cancer:
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A higher SPF does not necessarily mean better
Contrary to popular belief a sunscreen with a higher sun protection factor does not drastically increase your sun protection compared to a lower one. A sunscreen of SPF 30 offers only 4% more than one of SPF 15, instead of double the protection. The most important factor is to apply your sunscreen regularly and generously in order to effectively protect your skin from harmful sun exposure. So you can choose whichever sunscreen, as long as you put it on numerous times throughout the day.
There are different types of cancer
Skin cancer can either be melanoma or non-melanoma, the former being more dangerous, while the latter more common. Melanoma is more life-threatening because unlike the other form of skin cancer it can spread, making it more difficult to treat. Although, non-melanoma skin cancers are less life-threatening they are much more common and can be fatal if not detected early. So, keep that sunscreen near and put it on as much as possible because prevention is always best.
Skin cancer can be itchy
Just like breast cancer we know the typical symptoms of skin cancer. We have been taught to feel for lumps in case of breast cancer, just as we know to watch out for dodgy looking moles for signs of skin cancer. However, skin cancer can also present itself as itchy lesions, often described as painful. If you find that a particular part of your body itches, is painful and has scaly skin you should consult your doctor.
Consistent sun protection is important
You need to protect your skin even when you think that it is unnecessary. Studies have shown that 78% of skin damage happens through incidental exposure. Should we apply sunscreen on cloudy days? Yes. Should we have it on while we drive? Yes. When we are walking down the street or relaxing at home? Yes and yes because sometimes we can be exposed to harmful sun rays through windows and other reflective surfaces when we are not even, aware of it.
Melanoma generally affects more men than women
Research has shown that one in 34 males will have melanoma, while one in 53 women will have it. It is one of the top 5 most common cancers for men, who make up the majority of melanoma deaths. However, it has also, been shown that young women are more likely to get this cancer more than others, besides breast cancer.
So be aware of the threat of the sun to your skin now that you know the facts some may not know about skin cancer.