About 87,000 people are diagnosed annually with melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer.
Most of the time cancer can be treatable if detected at an early stage. But that's where it gets tricky: most people don't know they have cancer until it's too late.
Skin cancers, in particular, are treatable if caught early. 87,000 people are diagnosed annually with melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. While men are almost twice as likely to die from this cancer, there are some important facts about melanoma that every woman should keep in mind, according to John Hopkins Medicine.
Firstly, women aged 49 or younger have a higher probability of developing melanoma than any other cancer, with the exception of breast or thyroid cancer. Secondly, more white women develop melanoma than white men, until the age of 49.
Here's how you can spot melanoma and get it treated at an early stage.
This process is actually helpful when it comes to spotting suspicious changes in moles. It works best when you regularly examine your skin for bumps and marks.
Asymmetry: when half of the mole doesn’t match the other.
Border: when the border of the mole is ragged or irregular.
Colors: when there seems to be more than one color on the mole.
Diameter: when the size of the mole is larger than a pencil eraser.
Evolution: when the mole seems to be changing, getting larger, or bleeding.
People with fair skin and lighter eyes and hair tend to be particularly vulnerable to skin cancer. Of course, there are other risk factors involved, like a family history of melanoma, more time spent unprotected in the sun, early childhood sunburns, immunosuppressive disorders, a weakened immune system, and having many freckles or moles.
Also, while both men and women are at risk, there has reportedly been an alarming surge in melanoma rates in young women. This is mostly because of tanning from the sun and regular visits to tanning salons. Tanning—be it at beaches or salons—is a major risk factor for skin cancers.
1. Make sure to always apply sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher while out in the sun.
2. 10 am to 2 pm is when the sunlight is at its peak, so try to stay away from it then.
3. Wear protective gear like sunglasses and visors when outside to prevent tans; they are not healthy.
4. Have yearly skin checks by a dermatologist, they'll be able to let you know if there's a cause for concern.
5. Make sure to check yourself from head to toe once a month, while you're either getting into or out of the shower.
Some of these steps may seem simple, but trust me, prevention is always better than cure.
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Alexey YaremenkoDisclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.