Young people rarely have to worry about cancer since most types occur after the age of 30. However, melanoma is one type of cancer that is rapidly increasing among younger adults. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, melanoma is the second most common type of cancer to occur in females between the ages of 15 to 29. Fortunately, skin cancer is both preventable and treatable when young adults take action early. For this reason, here is how to protect your skin and recognize the early signs of a potentially cancerous lesion.
Understand Your Risk Factors
It is important to be clear that anyone can get skin cancer, however, there are certain risk factors that make it more likely. These include the following:
In addition to these risk factors, the Skin Cancer Foundation reports that having more than five sunburns during a young person's lifetime doubles their risk for developing skin cancer. For this reason, preventative measures such as covering up your skin and wearing sunscreen are imperative for skin cancer prevention.
Identify Suspicious Lesions
It is important to know your skin well enough that you can recognize a new or suspicious mole or lesion on your body. Moles that are larger than a pencil eraser in diameter or that have irregular borders should always be checked by your doctor. You will also want to have new or evolving skin lesions assessed for cancer. Since many skin lesions occur on hard-to-see places on the body, it is necessary to use the buddy system or schedule a skin cancer exam to spot potential lesions on your scalp, back, and ears.
Seek Diagnosis and Treatment Early
When you are young, it can be frightening to think about having any type of skin cancer. While discovering a suspicious mole is stressful, the good news is that the five-year survival rate for melanoma is 98% when it is caught early. If your doctor detects cancer, then they can schedule you to have skin cancer surgery that is effective for removing the lesion before it can spread.
Today's active young adults are at risk for developing skin cancer due to an increased focus on outdoor lifestyles and tanning. Since skin cancer can occur in even healthy young adults, those under the age of 30 should be aware of their risk. This way, they can take action to prevent and treat cases of skin cancer early enough that they will have the best chances for a successful outcome. For more information, talk to a professional like Countryside Dermatology & Laser Center.Share
30 September 2016
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