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Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer is the most common type of cancer. However, if caught in its earliest stages, it’s also completely curable. That’s why the Dermatology Center of Shelby, in accordance with the American Cancer Society, recommends routine self skin examinations and skin cancer screenings with a dermatologist or a physician.

Cancer screening involves examinations and tests to catch cancer in its earliest stages of development even though you may have no symptoms. If you are between the ages of 20 and 39 you should have a skin exam by your personal doctor or a dermatologist every three years, and once a year from age 40 on.

Skin cancer can appear anywhere on the body, but is most common on areas exposed to the sun, such as the back and shoulders for men and legs for women. People should watch for moles that change in size, color or shape. An asymmetrical mole, a darkly pigmented mole, or one with an irregular border should raise a red flag. A mole does not have to be raised to be dangerous — in many cases, flat, dark lesions are cause for concern.

Most skin cancers can be found early with skin exams. Regular exams by your doctor and checking your own skin frequently can help find cancers early, when they are easier to treat.

Not sure about the mole?

Don’t put off a skin cancer screening.

Schedule a Skin Cancer Screening

What are the signs and symptoms of skin cancer?

Skin cancer can be found early, and both doctors and patients play important roles in finding skin cancer. If you have any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor. Any change on the skin, especially in the size or color of a mole or other darkly pigmented growth or spot, or a new growth, scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or change in the appearance of a bump or nodule. The spread of pigmentation beyond its border such as dark coloring that spreads past the edge of a mole or mark or a change in sensation, itchiness, tenderness, or pain

How to Conduct a Self Exam for Skin Cancer

Regular skin exams are especially important for people who are at higher risk of skin cancer, such as people with reduced immunity, people who have had skin cancer before, and people with a strong family history of skin cancer. Are you at a higher risk? How often should you have your skin examined?

Protecting yourself from skin cancer

Learn about the risk factors for skin cancer and what you can do to help protect yourself and your loved ones. People who get a lot of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays are at greater risk for skin cancer.

Simply staying in the shade is one of the best ways to limit your UV exposure. If you are going to be in the sun, “Slip! Slop! Slap!® and Wrap”* is a catchphrase that can help you remember some of the key steps you can take to protect yourself from UV rays:

  • Slip on a shirt.
  • Slop on sunscreen.
  • Slap on a hat.
  • Wrap on sunglasses to protect the eyes and skin around them.

Use sunscreen

Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s UV rays. But it’s important to know that sunscreen is just a filter – it does not block all UV rays. Sunscreen should not be used as a way to prolong your time in the sun. Even with proper sunscreen use, some UV rays get through, which is why using other forms of sun protection is also important.

Sunscreens are available in many forms – lotions, creams, ointments, gels, sprays, wipes, and lip balms, to name a few.

Some cosmetics, such as moisturizers, lipsticks, and foundations, are considered sunscreen products if they have sunscreen. Some makeup contains sunscreen, but you have to check the label – makeup, including lipstick, without sunscreen does not provide sun protection.

*American Cancer Society, Last Medical Review: 03/19/2015, Last Revised: 03/20/2015

Protect your skin!

Sunscreen is an essential part of everyone’s skin care routine.

See our line of sun screens