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How to Prevent Skin Cancer

By Sara Butler

Skin cancer is something that should be on everyone’s health radar, especially those who live in the Inland Empire. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S. In fact, it’s so common that Americans have a 20 percent chance of developing one type of skin cancer by the time they turn 70. The good news is that early diagnosis can save your life, which is why you need to learn more about preventing skin cancer.

The Causes

The cause of skin cancer is pretty widely known: exposure to the sun. Spending a lot of time in the sun can damage your skin cells and produce mutations that eventually turn into a type of cancer. If you have been exposed to the sun over a long period of time, then you’re at a higher risk of developing cancer. You’re also at an increased risk if you had a peeling sunburn that blistered in your lifetime. Other risk factors include:

  • Family history
  • Lots of moles
  • Red hair
  • Fair skin
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Living at high altitudes

The Different Types

There are several different types of skin cancer. They are:

  • Melanoma
  • Actinic keratosis
  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Merkel cell carcinoma

You should check your skin regularly and keep an eye on any usual moles, bumps, or freckles. Other signs of skin cancer include:

  • Scaly red lumps – If you have rough patches of brown or red that look like a scab or a wart, then you should have it checked out
  • Red patches – If you have something that looks like a small patch of irritated skin that may peel or itch, it could be a warning sign of something more serious
  • Open sores – Sores that don’t appear to heal can be a red flag

Prevention

There are several things you can do at any point in your life to protect yourself and reduce your risk. You should:

  • Wear broad-spectrum SPF30 sunscreen every day
  • Wear protective clothing such as a hat
  • Stay in the shade when the sun is most intense
  • Check your skin monthly
  • Avoid tanning beds
  • Have a professional skin check every year

Remember, even though catching it early can help you have a good outcome, prevention is the best bet. So, make sure you and your family are covered!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Riverside, Calif.

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