How to Prevent Skin Cancer: The Basics Explained

how to prevent skin cancer

Cancer, it goes without saying, is a tragic and terrifying disease to catch. Its unpredictable nature means that it’s something that everyone is at risk of, and should actively be trying to avoid. Skin cancer is the 19th most common cancer worldwide, and one of the most tricky things about avoiding it is that it’s caused by an ever-present and often useful presence in our lives: the sun.

If you’d like to become more sun safe and learn how to prevent skin cancer, then this is an important guide to read. Below, we’ll get into the different types of skin cancer and what you can do to reduce your risk of developing them.

Different Types of Skin Cancer

There are two main types of skin cancer. These are melanoma and non-melanoma. There are also, then, multiple subtypes of skin cancer.

Some of the different sub-categories of non-melanoma cancer include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and Merkel cell cancer. In terms of melanoma skin cancer, some of the most common types are superficial spreading melanoma, nodular melanoma, and lentigo maligna melanoma.

Skin Cancer Causes

As you’re no doubt already aware, the number one cause of skin cancer is overexposure to sunlight. Especially when it results in sunburn and blistering of the skin. Prolonged and regular skin contact with certain chemicals—for example tar and coal—can also be a cause.

However, there are other risk factors to be aware of. If you spend a lot of time in the sun, of course, you’re going to be at an increased risk. If you have fair, blond, or red hair and/or freckled skin, you’re also going to have to take extra precautions.

Finally, your family history will play a part. If a member of your family has had skin cancer in the past, you may be at a greater risk of developing it yourself.

How to Prevent Skin Cancer

Preventing skin cancer is something that’s usually doable for most people. It just involves knowing the steps to take and things to avoid.

Obviously, avoiding too much sunlight and sunburns is the number one thing to do. You should also cut back on treatments such as sunbeds, as these can have the same adverse effects as the sun.

Next, when you do go in the sun, always remember to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Ideally, you should be putting on sunscreen every day, no matter what time of year it is.

Detection and Survival Rates

The one positive thing about skin cancer as a disease is that’s it has a relatively high survival rate. For example, the five-year survival rate if it’s detected before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 99%.

This is why early detection is so important. For more on how to spot the early signs of skin cancer development, see this site now.

Preventing Skin Cancer

We hope this guide has informed you on how to prevent skin cancer. With a little preparation and smart decision-making, it should be possible for you. For more health and safety tips, check out the rest of our site now.