Staying Safe from Skin Cancer

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1 Staying Safe from Skin Cancer Types of Skin Cancer Actinic Keratosis Rough, red or pink scaly patches on sun-exposed areas of the skin Basal Cell Carcinoma Raised, pink, waxy bumps that may bleed following minor injury Melanoma Brown or black skin lesion with irregularities in symmetry, border and coloration Kaposi s Sarcoma Brownish-red to blue colored skin lesions found most frequently on legs and feet Squamous Cell Carcinoma Dull red, rough, scaly raised skin lesions that occurs most frequently on sun exposed areas such as the hands, ears, or back of the neck * UCSF School of Medicine. Types of Skin Cancer. USCF Department of Dermatology. (accessed July 19, 2012).

2 AM I AT RISK? There are multiple factors that can increase your risk of getting skin cancer. Some risk factors are things that can be prevented, while others, such as genetics cannot be changed. UV Light Exposure Excessive exposure to ultraviolent radiation increases your chances of developing skin cancer. The main source of UV rays is from the sun, but tanning beds also expose your skin to UV rays and increase your risk. Skin Type People with fair skin are at high risk for skin cancer, and those with skin that burns or freckles are at even higher risk. Those with fair skin have less melanin in their skin. Melanin is what protects your skin from UV radiation, and people with darker skin have higher levels of melanin. Genetics Studies have shown that some people are more likely to develop skin cancer. A family history of skin cancer increases your risk of getting it. Also, men are two times more likely to develop basal skin cancer, and three times more likely to get squamous skin cancer. * National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention. Risk Factors for Skin Cancer. SkinCancerPrevention.org. (accessed July 19, 2012).

3 skin cancer facts Indoor tanners are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their life. Tanning in a tanning bed just four times a year increases your risk for melanoma by 11% and squamous cell carcinoma by 15%. One person dies of melanoma every hour Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually *Skin Cancer Foundation. Skin Cancer Facts. Skin Cancer Foundation. (accessed July 20, 2012).

4 Slip, Slop, Slap, Wrap! To avoid developing skin cancer, it is important to stay safe in the sun and take precautionary measures. The American Cancer society developed the catch phrase Slip, Slop, Slap, Wrap! to help people remember the steps to take to protect yourself from UV rays. Slip on a Shirt It s important to wear dark, dry, tightly woven fabrics when out in the sun. If you can see light through a shirt, UV rays can get through too! Slop on Sunscreen Organizations recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above. It is also important to reapply at least every two hours and even more often when swimming or sweating. Slap on a hat Wearing a hat with a two to three inch brim around the entire hat is best to protect your ears, face, scalp, and eyes from being exposed to UV rays. Baseball hats protect your eyes, nose and scalp, but not other vulnerable areas such as the back of the neck. Wrap on sunglasses Look for sunglasses that say UV absorption up to 400 nm. Those with this label block at least 99% of UV rays. * American Cancer Society. How do I protect myself from UV rays? American Cancer Society: The Official Sponsor of Birthdays. (accessed July 19, 2012).

5 Skin Cancer Prevention Check yourself! The best way to detect early signs of skin cancer is to check yourself regularly, preferably once a month. Self-checks are best done in front of a full length mirror, using a hand mirror for hard-to-see areas. Face the Mirror 1. Check your face, neck, ears, chest and stomach for signs of skin cancer. 2. Check underarm area, both arms and hands, palms, and fingers. 3. Use a comb to part your hair to check your scalp. Sit Down 1. Check the front of your legs, tops of feet, and between the toes. 2. Using a hand mirror, check the bottom of your feet, the back of the thighs and your calves. 3. Using a hand mirror, check your upper and lower back, buttocks area, and genitals. * American Cancer Society. Skin Cancer Prevention and Early Detection. American Cancer Society: The Official Sponsor of Birthdays. (accessed July 19, 2012).

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