Cancer prevention is a large area of continual research and every year researchers are able to understand more and more about cancer and ways to prevent it. Most cancers have preventable causes and skin cancers are one of those that can be prevented fairly easy. If you do not have any genetic predisposition to cancer, there are 3 main things that you should implement into your life to prevent skin cancer. This includes staying in shaded areas during the day when possible, wearing spf clothing when outside, and scheduling an annual visit with a dermatologist. By implementing these into your life you are on your way to preventing skin cancer and the symptoms of skin cancer.
The main contributing factor to skin cancer is excessive exposure to the sun. While the sun has many benefits such as promoting Vitamin D production and elevating mood, the sun also carries inherent risks. The sun emits light and heat but also emits ultraviolet radiation which can be harmful to your body in excess. The reason this radiation can be detrimental is because the ultraviolet radiation is able to alter DNA chemically which can lead to mutation if the DNA is incorrectly repaired by the body. DNA mutation leads to cancer when the mutations cause the cells checkpoints to be bypassed. When these checkpoints are bypassed, the cell is able to proliferate uncontrollably resulting in a tumor.
Finding shade during the sunniest parts of the day will minimize your exposure to these harmful UV rays and will result in less DNA being damaged. Sun should still be enjoyed, and it should be noted that DNA damage occurs all the time and going in the sun is not going to harm you. What is harmful is extended exposure to these stressors that can overload the repair mechanisms in your body resulting in mutation.
When people think of SPF they typically think about sunscreen, however, sunscreen is not the only product that uses the SPF system. Many outdoor clothing items have an SPF rating and if you are outside for extended periods of time you should take advantage of these. Unlike sunscreen these clothes do not need to be reapplied and will give your skin added protection against UV rays. Utilizing sunscreen and SPF clothing together is a sure way to make sure that you are taking prevention to its very best.
Regular Dermatologist visits
Dermatologists are a vital resource to utilize when discussing ways to prevent skin cancer and its associated symptoms. Dermatologists have a wealth of knowledge on skin care, skin disease, and skin disease prevention. If you feel the methods you have implemented are not giving you the level of prevention you desire, talking to a dermatologist can be extremely valuable. In addition, dermatologists are trained in full skin exams where they closely inspect the surface of your skin to ensure that no abnormal spots, moles, or areas are a potential risk of cancer. Having an annual skin exam by a dermatologist is highly recommended if you have a history of skin cancer or if you have a family history of cancer.
In summary there are plenty of things that you can implement into your life to reduce your chances of acquiring cancer in your lifetime. By limiting your exposure to the sun either by finding shade or wearing SPF products you significantly reduce your chances of skin cancer. Additionally, having routine skin exams by a dermatologist gives you the peace of mind that if there is a cancer that you have found it in an early enough of a stage to treat with high success rates. The more you do to protect your body from carcinogens, the less likely you are to get cancer.