Published On: Tue, Jul 4th, 2017

Rising Skin Cancer Rates: What You Need to Know

The American Cancer Society’s latest numbers are absolutely harrowing: 87,110 new melanomas are expected to be diagnosed in 2017 alone, with 9,730 cases expected to be fatal. The rates of melanoma have been steadily increasing for the last 30 years, and Washington is no exception as it is now among the top 10 states for the highest rates of newly diagnosed cancerous melanoma of the skin. With these numbers displaying the seriousness of skin cancer, what can be done to avoid becoming another statistic?

Rising Skin Cancer Rate

Limit Direct Sun Exposure

We have all heard this before, but with the increasing rates of skin cancer, it always bears repeating. Whether you live in the always sunny city of Los Angeles or in the more cloud-prone Georgetown, you need to protect your skin when outside. Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, long-sleeve shirts and remaining in shady areas are all good options when you know you will be outside for a while. This is one of the best preventative ways to ensure skin health.

Know Your Body

You may have many moles, birthmarks and freckles on your body since birth. Get to know your body well enough to be able to recognize when new moles appear on it, as well as if pre-existing ones begin to change in shape, color, or size. It is especially important to do this if you have many moles or freckles on your body, as it can be difficult to be certain when a newer one appears. Perform regular self-exams and make sure to to look all over your body when doing so.

Be Safe Rather Than Sorry

Did you know that despite the serious nature of melanoma, if it is detected and treated early, there is a very good chance that it can be curable? It becomes more dangerous – and unfortunately potentially fatal, when it is left unchecked and can therefore spread throughout the body. Georgetown Dermatology centers recommend regular checks to look for anything you consider abnormal. If you notice the following, they need to be checked out by a professional:

  • a new mole that looks different than the rest of your other moles
  • a mole that has edges or borders that are not defined
  • a moble that is darker in color or multicolored
  • a particularly large mole that is growing in size or shape over time.

While the most recent statistics regarding melanoma are definitely shocking, the preventative measures remain the same and become all the more important to practice. Limit direct sun exposure, perform self-check ups, and make sure to see a professional regularly. It can save your life.

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