Melanoma can spread quickly to other organs, and it causes the vast majority of skin cancer deaths in the United States. So it’s especially important to detect this type of skin cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful.
Why is it important to detect skin cancer early?
That’s why skin exams, both at home and with a dermatologist, are especially vital. Early detection saves lives. Learning what to look for on your own skin gives you the power to detect cancer early when it’s easiest to cure, before it can become dangerous, disfiguring or deadly.
What happens if you catch skin cancer early?
“If caught early, you can treat melanoma with removal and chemotherapy,” says Carolyn Nazabal, R.N., an educator at Sutter Health Memorial Hospital in Los Banos. “When left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body and can be fatal.”
Why is preventing skin cancer important?
Skin cancer is largely preventable, and if caught early, it’s usually curable. Since most skin cancers are linked to sun exposure, it’s important to take precautions when spending time outdoors, no matter what time of year. Too much sun can increase your risk for skin cancer and lead to premature skin aging.
What happens if skin cancer is not detected early?
When the cells become cancerous, they can slowly spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. Melanoma: This very serious form of skin cancer can spread to other parts of the body and be deadly, if not diagnosed early. Early diagnosis is important for effective treatment.
What happens if you catch melanoma early?
But when it’s caught early, melanoma often is curable. That’s why it’s so important to be familiar with your skin and report any changes to your dermatologist right away, especially if you’ve had a significant amount of exposure to tanning beds in the past.
How is skin cancer prevented?
Skin Cancer Prevention
- Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
- Don’t get sunburned.
- Avoid tanning, and never use UV tanning beds.
- Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
What are the chances of getting skin cancer?
Overall, the lifetime risk of getting melanoma is about 2.6% (1 in 38) for whites, 0.1% (1 in 1,000) for Blacks, and 0.6% (1 in 167) for Hispanics. The risk for each person can be affected by a number of different factors, which are described in Risk Factors for Melanoma Skin Cancer.
What age should you start screening for skin cancer?
In general, you should start getting screened for skin cancer in your 20s or 30s. However, if you’re in the sun a lot, have a family history of skin cancer, or have moles, you should be checked sooner.
What is the main cause of skin cancer?
Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. To lower your risk of getting skin cancer, you can protect your skin from UV rays from the sun and from artificial sources like tanning beds and sunlamps.
How does skin cancer happen?
Most skin cancers are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. When you don’t protect your skin, UV rays from sunlight or tanning beds can damage your skin’s DNA. When the DNA is altered, it can’t properly control skin cell growth, leading to cancer.