Posts for tag: Skin Cancer
With the warmer months just around the corner you may be getting ready to plan some fun in the sun. The summertime always finds children spending hours outside playing, as well as beach-filled family vacations, backyard barbeques, and more days just spent soaking up some much-needed vitamin D.
While it can certainly be great for our emotional and mental well-being to go outside, it’s also important that we are protecting our skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. These are some habits to follow all year long to protect against skin cancer,
Wear Sunscreen Daily
Just because the sun isn’t shining doesn’t mean that your skin isn’t being exposed to the harmful UVA and UVB rays. The sun’s rays have the ability to penetrate through clouds. So it’s important that you generously apply sunscreen to the body and face about 30 minutes before going outside.
Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that also protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Everyone should use sunscreen, even infants. Just one sunburn during your lifetime can greatly increase your risk for developing skin cancer, so always remember to lather up!
Reapply Sunscreen Often
If you are planning to be outdoors for a few hours you’ll want to bring your sunscreen with you. After all, one application won’t be enough to protect you all day long. A good rule of the thumb to follow is, reapply sunscreen every two hours. Of course, you’ll also want to apply sunscreen even sooner if you’ve just spent time swimming or if you’ve been sweating a lot (e.g. running a race or playing outdoor sports).
Seek Shade During the Day
While feeling the warm rays of the sun on your shoulders can certainly feel nice, the sun’s rays are at their most powerful and most dangerous during the hours of 10am-4pm. If you plan to be outdoors during these times it’s best to seek shady spots. This means enjoying lunch outside while under a wide awning or sitting on the beach under an umbrella. Even these simple measures can reduce your risk for skin cancer.
See a Dermatologist
Regardless of whether you are fair skinned, have a family history of skin cancer or you don’t have any risk factors, it’s important that everyone visit their dermatologist at least once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening. This physical examination will allow our skin doctor to be able to examine every growth and mole from head to toe to look for any early signs of cancer. These screenings can help us catch skin cancer early on when it’s treatable.
Noticing changes in one of your moles? Need to schedule your next annual skin cancer screening? If so, a dermatologist will be able to provide you with the proper care you need to prevent, diagnose and treat both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
Too much exposure to sunlight can be harmful to your skin. Dangerous ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays damage skin, which leads to premature wrinkles, skin cancer and other skin problems. People with excessive exposure to UV radiation are at greater risk for skin cancer than those who take careful precautions to protect their skin from the sun.
Sun Exposure Linked to Cancer
Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, including melanoma. To limit your exposure to UV rays, follow these easy steps.
- Avoid the mid-day sun, as the sun's rays are most intense during 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remember that clouds do not block UV rays.
- Use extra caution near water, snow and sand.
- Avoid tanning beds and sun lamps which emit UVA and UVB rays.
- Wear hats and protective clothing when possible to minimize your body's exposure to the sun.
- Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 to your exposed skin. Re-apply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and area around your eyes.
Everyone's skin can be affected by UV rays. People with fair skin run a higher risk of sunburns. Aside from skin tone, factors that may increase your risk for sun damage and skin cancer include:
- Previously treated for cancer
- Family history of skin cancer
- Several moles
- Typically burn before tanning
- Blond, red or light brown hair
If you detect unusual moles, spots or changes in your skin, or if your skin easily bleeds, make an appointment with our practice. Changes in your skin may be a sign of skin cancer. With early detection from your dermatologist, skin cancers have a high cure rate and response to treatment. Additionally, if you want to reduce signs of aged skin, seek the advice of your dermatologist for a variety of skin-rejuvenating treatment options.
What are your chances of developing the most common cancer in the United States? One in five American adults will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives, says the American Academy of Dermatology. That's why routine skin examinations with Dr. Sanjiva Goyal at Coastal Dermatology & MedSpa in Jacksonville , FL, are so vital. Count on his technical skill and compassionate manner to help you avoid this potentially deadly cancer.
Kinds of skin cancer
The most common kinds are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma which grow in the epidermis, or top layer of the skin. These cancers are readily detected and treated; plus, they do not spread quickly or affect major organs. A third cancer, however--malignant melanoma--is deadly and insidious, spreading to all major organs if not detected in its earliest stages.
Causes of skin cancer in Jacksonville
The Skin Cancer Foundation says that UV light from the sun or artificial tanning is the real culprit. Increasing age, gender (more men than women experience skin cancer), light skin tone and multiple sunburns early in life increase the chances of a skin cancer diagnosis.
Unfortunately, lack of education about skin cancer risks is risky, too. Many people do not understand the importance of applying protective sun screen products, wearing long sleeve and sun glasses on hot days or staying in the shade during peak daylight hours of 10 am to 2 pm. In other words, not knowing how to protect yourself increase your chances of developing skin malignancies.
Symptoms of skin cancer
Basically, changes in skin texture and color may indicate cancer. Also, if an existing spot or mole begins itching or bleeding, you should see Dr. Goyal right away for a skin examination. The Prevent Cancer Foundation advises the ABCDEs of mole examination to alert you to possible skin cancer risk. If you have moles, look at these characteristics:
A Moles are asymmetrical. In other words, if you were to draw a line down the middle of a mole, each side should be equal in size if the lesion is benign.
B Notched, uneven borders may indicate cancer.
C Moles are usually brown or tan. Multi-colored moles may be melanoma.
D Moles may be malignant if larger than 6 millimeters in diameter.
E Moles should not change in shape and size. Evolution may mean cancer.
Most skin cancers may be surgically excised. MOHS surgery removes a lesion layer by layer, sparing more healthy tissue. Freezing or desiccation with electric current may be options as well as radiation or chemotherapy. Dr. Goyal is a board-certified dermatologist with the expertise and experience to plan your successful treatment.
Be on guard
What you don't know about your skin may hurt you. Look for signs of cancer by examining your skin at home every month. Also, see Dr. Goyal annually if you are over 40 for a complete dermatology check-up. Coastal Dermatology & MedSpa has two locations. For Jacksonville, phone (904) 727-9123. In Ponte Vedra Beach, call (904) 567-1050.
Skin cancer affects millions of Americans each year. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control say that about 4.3 million new cases of basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer, are diagnosed each year. Luckily, skin cancer is treatable and even preventable with the right steps. Find out more about skin cancer and what to look for in your skin with Dr. Sanjiva Goyal at Coastal Dermatology and MedSpa with locations in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Tips to Prevent Skin Cancer
The main aspect of preventing skin cancer is preventing the sun’s harmful UV rays from coming into contact with your skin. To start, always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least 30 SPF on visible areas of skin. Wear tightly-woven clothing to help prevent the sun’s rays from penetrating the cloth to reach your skin. Try to stay out of the sun during peak hours when it is strongest, usually around noon when the sun is highest in the sky.
Spotting Skin Cancer Early with the ABCDE's
The ABCDE's can help you spot questionable moles early and seek early treatment. They include:
- Asymmetry: Moles should be symmetrical in shape. If you have a mole which is larger on one side than the other, you should have it checked by your dermatologist.
- Border: A mole’s border should be smooth and round or oval in shape.
- Color: The color of a mole can vary from light pink to dark brown. However, moles which have more than one color within their border may be cancerous.
- Diameter: Dermatologists usually consider a mole under about six millimeters in diameter normal. However, if you have a mole bigger than about the size of a pencil eraser, you should have it checked.
- Evolution: Normal moles may change a bit over time, but usually stay about the same. A questionable mole may change or grow rapidly or appear out of nowhere.
Use these tips to ensure that you spot skin cancer early. For more information on spotting or treating skin cancer, please contact your dermatologist, Dr. Sanjiva Goyal at Coastal Dermatology and MedSpa with locations in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Call (904) 727-9123 to schedule your appointment in Jacksonville or (904) 567-1050 to schedule your appointment in Ponte Vedra Beach today!
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in the United States. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, as many as half of all American adults over the age of 65 will be diagnosed with some form of skin cancer at least once in their lifetime (there are several forms, some of which are more common than others). Like many other types of cancer, prevention and early detection are the best tools for fighting skin cancer. Dr. Sanjiva Goyal, a dermatologist at Coastal Dermatology & MedSpa, advises adults of all ages to practice prevention year round (regardless of climate) by wearing protective clothing and sunscreen, and to make regular skin cancer screenings a normal part of a comprehensive health and wellness routine.
Skin Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment in Ponte Vedra Beach and Jacksonville, FL
There are three types of skin cancer:
- Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) - the second most common type of skin cancer, develops on the outer layer of the epidermis
- Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) - the most common form of skin cancer, develops in the bottom layers of the epidermis and accounts for the majority of cancer diagnoses
- Melanoma - develops in the cells that produce pigment (melanocytes), less common than SCC and BCC, but accounts for the majority of skin cancer fatalities when left undiagnosed and treated
Signs and Symptoms of Skin Cancer - What to Look For
Although people with fair skin and hair are generally at greater risk for developing skin cancer, everyone is at risk for skin cancer and people with darker complexions should also take precautions against sun damage, and monitor for any changes or abnormalities in new or existing freckles or moles.
Basal cell carcinoma symptoms - white or brown scaly or waxy looking patches, most commonly found on the neck and face
Squamous cell carcinoma symptoms - scaly patch or sore that does not heal, or heals and then reopens, most common on the parts of the skin that receive the most sun exposure such as face, neck, arms and hands
Melanoma symptoms - changes to the size, shape, borders, and color of existing mole or a new growth, can develop anywhere on the body
Skin Cancer Screening in Ponte Vedra Beach and Jacksonville, FL
For more information on the different types of skin cancer, prevention tips, and screening information, contact Coastal Dermatology & MedSpa to schedule an appointment by calling 904-727-9123 for Jacksonville or 904-567-1050 for Ponte Vedra Beach.