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CANCER INFORMATION

Skin Cancer

It is a very little known fact that skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer there is. Many people think that skin cancer is something that can never happen to them, but the statistics show that skin cancer is actually affects a large number of people. If you have ever been in the sun, then you are at risk for skin cancer. No one is immune. There are, however certain groups of people who may be somewhat more susceptible to getting skin cancer than others. For example, people with fair skin who burn very easily are at a much higher risk than people with brown or dark skin who do not tan often or even burn at all. It is easy to know if you are at risk by the number of times your skin burns when exposed to the sun for prolonged periods. If you burn more than tan, and find that you get sunburn easily, it's very important to take the proper steps to avoid getting skin cancer. Perhaps the most proactive thing that any and all of us can do is to wear an effective sunscreen every day. SPF 15 is recommended at the minimal level, and if you're going to be in the sun for a long amount of time, a sunscreen with at least an SPF 30 should be used. In addition, reapply the sunscreen every half hour or so to ensure proper coverage. For those who are in the sun daily, it's recommended you use a facial lotion that is designed to protect the skin on the face every day.

Many people may not even know what skin cancer looks like. Most of us were born with at least one or more birthmarks located somewhere on our body, and so we might ignore any marks that have always been on our bodies as harmless. Birthmarks are often the most vulnerable areas for skin cancer, but dark brown spots known as melanoma can develop anywhere at any time. If you happen to notice unusual marks on your body that you may not have noticed before, it's recommended that you consult your dermatologist or doctor immediately. Raised, abnormal looking patches of skin, particularly those with red around them, could be what is known as precancerous. It is imperative that a doctor examine the skin and make sure it is not cancerous, as skin cancer spreads fairly rapidly. Everyone should do a self examination at least once per month to ensure their skin is cancer free, particularly people who spend a lot of time outdoors. It is also important that you apply sunscreen to your children on a regular basis as well. Early prevention and good habits are the key to helping ensure you will not get skin cancer in the future. Performing these simple tasks can save your life and the life of your family. Talk to your physician or dermatologist about other things you can do to prevent skin cancer, and what to look for.

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