skin cancer blog

Shedding Light on National Cancer Prevention Month: Protecting Your Skin

February marks National Cancer Prevention Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of early detection and prevention of various forms of cancer. Among the different types, skin cancer holds a significant place due to its prevalence and preventable nature. As rays from the sun continue to pose a risk to our skin, understanding how to protect ourselves is paramount.

Skin cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow uncontrollably in the skin. The primary cause of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, primarily from the sun but also from artificial sources like tanning beds. There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. While melanoma is less common than basal and squamous cell skin cancers, it is more likely to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body, making it potentially deadly if not detected and treated early.

The good news is that many cases of skin cancer can be prevented by taking simple precautions to protect your skin from UV radiation. This includes wearing sunscreen with a high SPF, seeking shade during peak sun hours, wearing protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses, and avoiding indoor tanning. However, prevention also involves regular skin checks and early detection through screenings conducted by dermatology professionals.

Dermatology clinics play a crucial role in skin cancer prevention and detection. Here at Southface Dermatology Clinic we offer a range of preventative skin cancer treatments including our mole mapping service and our new ‘see and treat’ appointments.  Our dermatologists are trained to identify suspicious moles or lesions that may indicate skin cancer and can perform biopsies or other diagnostic tests to confirm a diagnosis.

As part of National Cancer Prevention Month, here are some steps you can take to protect yourself from skin cancer

1. Schedule a Skin Cancer Screening: If you haven’t had a skin cancer screening recently, consider scheduling one with a dermatologist. Regular screenings can help detect skin cancer in its early stages when it’s most treatable.

2. Perform Self-Exams: Get to know your skin and perform regular self-exams to check for any changes in moles, freckles, or other skin abnormalities. Look for changes in size, shape, color, or texture, and report any concerns to your dermatologist.

3. Practice Sun Safety: Protect your skin from UV radiation by wearing sunscreen, seeking shade, and wearing protective clothing when outdoors. Avoid tanning beds, as they emit harmful UV rays that can increase your risk of skin cancer.

National Cancer Prevention Month serves as a reminder of the importance of prioritising our health and taking proactive steps to prevent cancer. When it comes to skin cancer, awareness, early detection, and prevention are key. Your skin deserves the best care possible, so don’t wait – take action today by calling 01202702827 and book your mole mapping service, see and treat appointment or a skin consultation.