The unfortunate truth is that anyone can get skin cancer. It’s the most common type of cancer diagnosed in the United States, but there’s good news in the fact that it’s also one of the most survivable, especially when detected early.
Exposure to sunlight is often the biggest reason behind visible changes to your skin, such as new moles or age spots. While the presence of these doesn’t mean you’re going to have skin cancer, most new cancers do emerge from new spots. An Italian study of over 20,000 incidents of skin cancer revealed that 71% of these developed from new spots on the patients’ skin.
Periodic self-checks can keep you on top of changes that might indicate the move toward cancer, and an appointment with MD Vein & Skin Specialists adds another layer of protection in your quest for early detection, the best time to treat melanomas. Dr. Clement Banda and our team are skin cancer experts, so we can recognize and treat any potential issues during a post-summer skin cancer check.
The warmth of the sun
As essential as the sun is to our bodies, too much of a good thing is also an issue. The ultraviolet (UV) components of light are responsible for many of the visible changes to your skin, and if you’re coming off a sunburn from enjoying the summer sun, you may have enough exposure to make skin cancer a concern.
That sunburn won’t likely cause an issue this year. It can take between 5 and 20 years for visible changes to occur. However, it’s quite likely it’s not your first sunburn, and the effects of each are cumulative. So this year’s sunburn adds to the load, and a professional skin exam now, before the heavier clothing of fall emerges, is a great way to remember regular checks.
New spot suspicion
As mentioned above, newly emerging spots account for more than two-thirds of new melanoma cases. Spots you’ve had your entire life can become cancerous, but you likely have many more of those than new spots, and they’re responsible for melanoma less than one-third of the time.
If you notice a new spot, it’s probably a good time to visit Dr. Banda for a quick check no matter what time of year it is. There are also skin changes that only a trained dermatologist can detect, so a new spot you recognize could be accompanied by more subtle changes you can’t.
The summertime sun load
When you think of the end of the year, December 31 likely jumps to mind naturally, as the calendar changes. When it comes to the sun, the summer months account for 80% of your exposure. You typically get 20% from the fall, winter, and spring, so the end of summer could represent the end of your yearly dose of sunshine. It’s another good reason to pick September for a dermatology visit to MD Skin & Vein Specialists.
Contact the office by phone or online to schedule your skin check with Dr. Banda. Early detection isolates the danger you face from sun exposure, so don’t leave it to chance and book your skin check today.