Skin Cancer Breakdown

It wasn’t my original intent to write about skin cancer today, but this morning I came across a campaign from the Dermatology Association of  Mexico (Spanish speakers: click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLrlr5K_m3s&feature=player_embedded) and it made me think a lot.
There is a lot of misunderstanding and confusion when it comes to skin cancer, and people still believe it’s a “ghost cancer” that only sun-worshipers get.


Sure, sun-lovers have a much higher risk, but it can happen to ANYONE. Therefore, I would like to share some tools stay healthy and identify any “risky” moles.

Tool#1: Always remember the ABCD of skin cancer


(photo courtesy of www.healthhype.com)

Tool #2: Know the 3 types of skin cancer:
Squamous cell carcinoma, Basal cell carcinoma, and Malignant Melanoma.
Their names come from the layer of the skin in which they start to form.


(photo courtesy of www.cancersa.org.au)

Squamous and Basal Cell Carcinoma are usually blister-like or scab-like lesions that appear on the skin that don’t go away. Unlike regular lesions that eventually heal, these keep reappearing.
Malignant Melanoma looks like a black scab. Because of its rapid growth and ability to spread to other organs, it is the most dangerous type and should be checked immediately.

Tool #3: Alongside a yearly checkup, self-examination is the most important step to take towards a healthy, cancer-free skin. Map your moles, check for any sudden changes or lesions that won’t heal (and get them checked as soon as possible).


 
Tool #4: (I’m sure you’ve heard this before) make an effort to stay away from the sun. I prefer a physical shield to any sun block (hat, roof, umbrella).


 Tool #5:  Read, get educated, and check what you put on your skin. There are a lot of toxic ingredients that are being researched for their cancer-causing side effects, but more on that another day. (I could go on, and on… ingredients are my weakness! In the meantime, feel free to check http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/). Have a beautiful, healthy week!