Steps for Preventing Skin Cancer

As I was watching  The Big C, the hit Showtime Original Series about living… with cancer-Melanoma, I decided to write this blog.

Melanoma is on the rise, it is the deadliest form of skin cancer if not caught early.  It is a horrible painful disfiguring disease. I know, my dad died from Melanoma which started on his scalp and metastasized though his body. He lost 1/3 of his neck to this horrible disease.

Children and you women are especially at risk.  Research also suggests that  higher income women and families are at greater risk due vanity and lifestyle.   According to the American Cancer Society Melanoma is thought to account for about 9,000 deaths per year in the United States. Many of these melanoma cases are avoidable through common sense measures such as limiting sun exposure.

The American Cancer Society has identified the following risk factors:* Unprotected and/or excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation

* Fair complexion

* Occupational exposures to coal tar, pitch, creosote, arsenic compounds, or radium

* Family history

* Multiple or atypical moles

* Severe sunburns as a child

There are many steps we can take to prevent this deadly cancer.  There is a new FDA approved technology that can aid your physician in an early  diagnosis.  Ask you physician about scanning with MoleMate, the first FDA approved skin cancer screening device.

Some common sense steps include:

1. Wear clothes that cover your skin. You can also buy protective sun clothing.  Here is one brand to check out http://www.coolibar.com.

2. Wear wide brim hats or a baseball cap and sunglasses to protect your face and scalp.

3. Use a good physical block, SPF 30 or greater. Do not rely on SPF in your make-up or foundation.  Apply your sunblock often.

4. Boost your sunblock with a good Vitamin C cream or serum. Apply a Vitamin C  product underneath your sunblock.

5  Take Vitamin D3, which has been known to help protect against skin cancer together with an antioxidant to help against free radical damage.

6. Do not use Tanning Beds.  If you want to look sun- kissed apply a self tanner. There are many ones to choose from. they’ve come along way from the days of orange CooperTone. 🙂

7. Exam yourself. Visually check your body for any new or unusual sore or spots, a freckle or mole that has changed in color, size or texture, or a sore that does not heal. 

8. Schedule a body mole check, especially if  you have risk factors or many moles.

9. Contact your doctor right away if you suspect something.

10. Don’t delay!!

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