Yet skin cancer is highly preventable. There are simple steps you can take to prevent skin cancers, including:
- Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours
- Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs
- Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays
- Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB protection
- Avoid indoor tanning
The other step is to monitor any suspicious moles or skin lesions, as early detection leads to better treatment outcomes. Know the ABCDE's of skin cancer. You may want to get screened if you have a mole or skin lesion and see any of the following:
- Asymmetry: if the lesion is irregular in shape or height
- Border: an irregular shape (not round)
- Coloration: changes, or is different than other moles, or is red or flaky
- Diameter: if the size changes
- Evolving: if the mole or lesion is changing size or shape.
Of course, if you have any concerns about a lesion that won't heal or you have concerns, you should have it checked by a doctor.
If you have any questions on skin cancer or cancers in general, tune into KUTV Channel 2 on Tuesday, April 12th for Ask The Expert with Intermountain Healthcare. Medical experts will answer questions and be interviewed on KUTV Channel 2 about cancer and its prevention, detection, and treatment. Individuals may call 1-877-908-0680 to speak free of charge to one of the many experts, including doctors and other clinicians on Tuesday from noon to 5:30. Or you can post questions to Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #KUTVAskTheExpert. For more information visit intermountainhealthcare.org/asktheexpert.
* Source: U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2012 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2015. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/statistics/state.htm.