With all of the publicity surrounding diseases like breast and lung cancer, it is easy to overlook something as simple as skin cancer. After all, the first sign of the disease is often a mole, and how dangerous can that be?
In fact, the medical community feels that the problem is severe enough that everyone should protect their skin from the sun and schedule a skin cancer check with a doctor. They also recommend staying alert for early warning signs.
Skin Cancer Is on the Rise
Despite the fact that skin cancer is one of the most preventable types, doctors are seeing a dramatic increase in the disease. In fact, the U.K. reports that the number of cases has quadrupled in just thirty years.
There are various types of skin cancer and some are fairly benign, but the most serious strains are appearing more often. Malignant melanoma, a deadly type of skin cancer, now accounts for over 2,000 U.K. fatalities every year. It is also the second most common cancer among U.K. young adults.
A Few Simple Steps Can Deter Cancer
The statistics surrounding skin cancer are especially disturbing because the disease is one of the easiest to prevent. Doctors advise patients to wear sunscreen, which protects the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Just choosing shaded instead of sunny outdoor areas offers protection. It is also a good idea to develop a “sun protection” philosophy that includes wearing protective clothing and hats, staying out of direct sunlight and using sunscreen on all exposed skin.
It Is Easy to Check for Skin Cancer
Perhaps the most important way to prevent or catch skin cancer is to recognize the signs and see a doctor quickly if they appear. Some of the things to look for are asymmetrical moles with uneven halves.
Other signs are uneven mole borders and colors as well as moles that are bigger than the diameter of a pencil. However, it takes a medical professional to determine how serious these signs are.
While many deadly diseases are declining in number, skin cancer is increasing. Fortunately, the disease is often very treatable if caught early and it is it simple for anyone to detect signs that it may be present.