Shining Light on Skin Cancer: Awareness and Prevention

As spring warmly invites us to embrace the outdoors, it’s crucial to be mindful of protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful rays. With longer days and brighter skies ahead, the risk of sun damage and skin cancer becomes more pronounced. May marks Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month – a time to shed light on the importance of skin health and cancer prevention.

What Are The Types of Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer presents in three primary forms: Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC), Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC), and Melanoma. BCC and SCC commonly appear on sun-exposed skin. Melanoma is the most serious and invasive type of skin cancer because it can spread to other areas of your body. If caught early, though, melanoma is highly curable – emphasizing the need for attention and vigilance.

What Causes Skin Cancer?

  • UV Radiation – Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or tanning beds.
  • Genetics – Family history of skin cancer, inherited genetic mutations, and specific skin conditions can increase susceptibility to the disease.
  • Fair Skin – People with fair skin, light hair, and blue or green eyes are at higher risk of developing skin cancer. Lighter skin lacks melanin, which provides some protection against UV radiation.
  • Sunburn – Sunburn indicates overexposure to UV radiation, which damages skin cells and increases cancer risk.
  • Weakened Immune System – Individuals with weakened immune systems due to conditions like HIV/AIDS, organ transplants, or immunosuppressive medications have an increased risk of developing skin cancer.

What Can We Do To Prevent Skin Cancer?

  • Meet with a dermatologist – Depending on your health history and risk factors, it may be beneficial to regularly meet with a board-certified dermatologist for a body check. Be sure to also perform self-exams by using the ABCDE method to help spot potential signs of skin cancer. Consult your dermatologist immediately if any of your moles or pigmented spots exhibit:
    • Asymmetry – One half of the spot is unlike the other half.
    • Border – The spot has an irregular, blurry, or poorly defined border.
    • Color – The color is not uniform. It has varying colors from one area to the next, such as shades of tan, brown, or black, or dashed of white, red, or blue.
    • Diameter – While melanomas are usually greater than 6 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser), any growth of a mole should evaluated.
    • Evolving – The spot looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape, or color.
  • Educate Yourself – Educating yourself about skin cancer and melanoma helps identify risks, detect warning signs early, and adopt sun-safe behaviors.
  • Locate Shaded Areas – Seek shade under umbrellas, trees, or other structures when outdoors. UPF-rated umbrellas provide significant protection, especially when combined with sunscreen and protective clothing.
  • Apply Sunscreen Regularly – Use sunscreen with a rating of SPF 30 or higher on all exposed skin. Reapply every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
  • Nurture Skin Health – Keep skin healthy and moisturized to maintain its natural protective barrier against sun damage.
  • Observe Changes in your Skin – Look for new moles or changes in existing moles. Seek medical attention if you find anything suspicious.
  • Minimize Sun Exposure – Limiting your time in direct sunlight, especially during peak hours between 10 AM and 4 PM can help reduce your exposure to harmful UV radiation.
  • Avoid Tanning Beds – Steer clear of indoor tanning beds and sunlamps which emit UV radiation.

As awareness spreads and prevention measures improve, we come closer to a future with fewer lives affected by skin cancer. By prioritizing education, early detection, sun-safe practices, and regular medical check-ups, we empower individuals to take control of their skin health, fostering a brighter, healthier tomorrow.




We want you to be well and to live your best life. The content in this blog is provided for the purposes to educate and entertain you: our very important reader. It is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical advice from a trained healthcare professional.

If you have a medical condition or are under the care of a medical provider, please always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional before undertaking a new health care regimen. To that point, never disregard medical advice or delay treatment for a medical condition because of something you read on this site.

Listen to your care providers as they know you and your condition best. Thank you for reading!

The Team at BSDI

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