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By Susan Peterson RPA-C
October 04, 2013
Category: Skin Cancer
Tags: sun protection   melanoma   sun health  

In the May 2013 Glamor Health this phenomenon of why 
so many women are still getting skin cancer was investigated.

The top 4 reasons were:

1.       Because we’re just not that worried about skin cancer… and we should be.
We are now aware of the risks of sunburns and tanning yet they are often ignored.  We need to take skin cancer seriously.  If you are out all day you not only need to apply your sunblock initially, but you need to reapply every 40 to 80 minutes.

2.       Because we need dermatologists [not just doctors].
Dermatologists are best when early detection is so important.  Researchers have found that Primary Care Physicians are less skilled at spotting cancer as well as, being less comfortable screening for it.  People need to be screened once a year, even if you think that your skin and you are safe.

3.       Because lots of us have tanning bed pasts [or presents!].
Indoor tanning is a Class I carcinogen.  Just a single tanning session increases your life time risk of developing melanoma by 20%.  Tell your dermatologists if tanning beds are in your history and if you are still tanning – STOP!

4.       Because we’re forgetting our family history.
A first degree relative with melanoma is the most important risk factor for developing melanoma.  This surpasses even your past sun history.  Ask you parents and siblings about their skin.  Your dermatologist wants you to be active and healthy.

So wear your sunblock and reapply!

Some extra credit protection includes:

·  Eating a Mediterranean style diet that guards against UV damage by high levels of antioxidants. 
·  Use NSAIDS like aspiring and Advil the next time you have a headache.  These drugs block certain enzymes that help cancer cells to multiply. 
·  Drink caffeinated beverages, studies are showing that caffeine may decrease your risk of skin cancer by helping eliminate UV damaged cells before they become malignant.

Important points to remember:

·  In the past few decades, the incidence of melanoma has increased by 800% among women ages 18 to 39.  That is twice the rate of men in the same age group.
·  Basal cell and Squamous cell skin cancers have climbed 300% in the past decade.

Wear Sunscreen
Reapply
Avoid prime sun hours
Cover up

Save your skin and possibly your life.

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