Cancer

Truths and Myths About Skin Cancer

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True and False Information About Skin Cancer

Skin cancer has become a more deadly threat in the modern day, thanks both to increased sunlight and tanning alike. We need to examine the facts and myths behind it in order to prevent it.

Myth: You have to be light-skinned to get skin cancer.
Truth: While people of color are less likely to get skin cancer, they are more likely to die from it.

Myth: Tanning inside is controlled and safer than tanning in the sun.
Truth: Tanners using a new high-powered lamp indoors may receive up to 12 times the annual UVA dose they receive from sun exposure. When compared to people who have never used indoor tanning, indoor tanners are more likely to get skin cancer of all forms.

Myth: Sunscreen has chemicals in it that cause cancer.
Truth: Research shows that sunscreen is safe and also effective at preventing skin cancer.

Myth: We need the sun to produce Vitamin D in our bodies.
Truth: People do not need so much sun. Studies show that only 5 minutes daily for a caucasian in New York at 12 PM in the summer is enough to reach the maximum Vitamin D production for humans.

Myth: The sun can’t damage your skin on a cloudy day.
Truth: UV Radition can travel through both clouds and fog. Up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can reach you.

The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

Signs and symptoms of skin cancer include:

  • Waxy bumps
  • Flesh- or brown-colored flat lesions
  • Red, firm nodules
  • Flat lesions with crusted and scaly surfaces
  • Large brown spots with darker flecks within
  • Moles that have changed in feel, size, or color, or ones that bleed
  • Small lesions that are irregular or white, blue, blue-black, or red.
  • Dark lesions on your fingertips, toes, palms, or soles
  • Dark lesions on mucous membranes lining the vagina, anus, mouth or nose

Treatment for skin cancer varies. Small cancers only on the skin can be removed entirely. Other treatments include freezing, surgeries, curettage, radiation, chemotherapy, and photodynamic therapy.

Many types have a good prognosis when treated early. However, when cancer spreads, it can be deadly. Proper prevention and treatment is need immediately in order to prevent the dangers associated with progressed skin cancer.