8 Skin Cancer Facts you need to know this Summer
Your desire to remain healthy and avoid costly medical bills is probably enough motivation to develop healthy habits. In order to prevent illness, you exercise, adopt a healthy diet and practice good hygiene.Eluding skin cancer is no exception- you wear sunscreen, seek shade and wear protective gear to avoid developing this nasty disease.
However, even with the most diligent sun care routine, you aren’t immune. Since preventive behavior can’t stop every illness, learning to detect skin cancer early can prevent the most severe symptoms and consequences.
Skin cancer is a good example of how detecting and treating a disease early can have an impact on a person’s prognosis. Read below to discover the most common types of skin cancer, as well as skin cancer facts and prevention methods.
Types of skin cancer
Basal Cell Carcinoma
This is the most common type of skin cancer. They frequently develop in people who have fair skin, yet they can occur in people with darker skin. They appear as a flesh-coloured, pearl-like bump or a pinkish patch of skin and develop after years of frequent sun exposure or indoor tanning. They are commonly found on the head, neck, and arms, yet can form anywhere on the body, including the chest, abdomen, and legs.
Early diagnosis and treatment for this type of skin cancer is important as it can invade the surrounding tissue and grow into the nerves and bones, causing disfigurement.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
This is the second most common type of skin cancer. People who have fair skin are most likely to develop this type of cancer, yet they can develop in darker-skinned people.
It often appears as a firm red bump, scaly patch, or a sore that heals and then re-opens.
It tends to form on skin that gets frequent sun exposure, such as the rim of the ear, face, neck, arms, chest, and back. It can grow deep in the skin and cause damage and disfigurement. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent this and stop the cancer from spreading to other areas of the body.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and frequently develops in a mole or suddenly appears as a new dark spot on the skin. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial.
Skin Cancer Fact Number 1: The majority of Skin Cancer is caused by UV Light
About 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers and 86% of melanomas have been linked to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight.
Skin Cancer Fact Number 2: Not all Skin Cancer is caused by the sun
People who smoke are more likely to develop skin cancer, especially around the mouth area. Areas of the body that have been treated with radiation are more prone to developing skin cancer. Conditions that weaken the immune system-such as immune suppression therapy associated with organ transplantation and exposure to certain chemicals also increase the risk of skin cancer. Having a family history of cancer also increases your risk of developing skin cancer.
Skin Cancer Fact Number 3: Melanoma can occur anywhere on the skin
Melanoma can develop anywhere on the body including areas such as the eyes, scalp, nails, feet, mouth, and other places that are not exposed to the sun. These hidden melanomas occur more frequently in individuals with darker skin tones.
Skin Cancer Fact Number 4: Be sun smart
Sunscreen has been proven to reduce the risk of most skin cancers. While people with fair skin may be more likely to develop skin cancer due to sun exposure, people with darker skin tones still at risk. Sunscreen protects against sunburn as well as harmful UV rays that can wreak havoc on your skin even on cloudy, overcast or winter days when there seems to be no sunshine.
It is important to use sunscreen every day – even during the winter months. Ultra Bee offers several natural sunscreen options to suit everyone’s needs:
Sun Cream 15: Made with 15% Zinc Oxide, this cream provides a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. The thick formula ensures that it does not run or drip when you sweat. It is also made with natural ingredients, which ensures it does not irritate your skin.
Sunscreen 35: This natural sunscreen provides a higher SPF of 35, making it suitable for use when outdoors on a hot summers day. It is strong and effective enough to protect you from extreme conditions. It offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays and is made with all-natural ingredients, so it is not only effective, but it will not irritate your skin.
Faceblock: This Face block comes in a 100ml jar and contains 50% Zinc Oxide, making it our most powerful sun protection product yet. It is thick and creamy and will not run or drip after swimming or sweating, making it perfect for outdoor activities.
Sun Stick: This sun protector comes in a stick form, making it compact and easy to apply while you are on the go. It contains 50% Zinc Oxide, which provides the ultimate UVA and UVB protection to your skin while outdoors. It also nourishes and moisturizes the skin, so it can replace your regular moisturizer as part of your skin care routine.
It is important to note that no sun protection is 100% effective and when possible, you should limit your outdoor activities between the hours of 10am and 2pm when the sun’s rays are strongest.
Skin Cancer Fact Number 5: Indoor tanning is just as harmful
UV radiation is a known human carcinogen. Indoor tanning is banned in Brazil and Australia and is banned in several other countries for people under the age of 18. Indoor tanning dramatically increases your risk of developing skin cancer. Take a look at the shocking statistics:
- People that have ever tanned indoors have a 67% increased risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma and a 29 percent increased risk of developing basal cell carcinoma.
- People that have ever tanned indoors have a 69% risk of developing basal cell carcinoma before age 40
- People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75 percent
Skin Cancer Fact Number 6: Regular skin checks are key
If you have a large number of moles on your body, or other factors that put you at high risk- such as genetics or frequent sun exposure It is recommended that you get these regularly checked by a professional doctor or nurse specialist. A head to toe examination should be done at least once a month, taking note of any unusual or changing moles or growths on your body. While these checks will not prevent skin cancer, it will help to catch the disease while it is still in the early stages.
Skin Cancer Fact Number 7: Early detection means better chances of survival
With melanoma, which is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, the five-year survival rate is 98% if the cancer is found early. The survival rate decreases to 62% if the cancer reaches the lymph nodes, and 18% when the disease spreads to distant organs. While the more common basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas have high cure rates, they can become disfiguring and even life threatening if not diagnosed during the early phases.
Skin Cancer Fact Number 8: Bad sunburns increase your risk of skin cancer later on
According to the National Foundation for Cancer Research, early sun exposure, especially frequent sunburns as a child, can increase your risk of skin cancer in adulthood. Ultra Bee has realised the importance of protecting your little ones from the harsh effects of the sun, which is why we have developed a Natural Baby sun care range. The range does not contain any harsh chemicals which will burn your child’s eyes or irritate their skin and is gentle yet effective. It contains the following products:
Baby Sunscreen 35: This natural sunscreen provides a 35% Zinc Oxide protection, making it suitable for use when your little one is playing outdoors. It is gentle, yet effective enough to protect your child from the harsh sun. It offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays and is made with all-natural ingredients, so it is not only effective, but it will not irritate your skin.
Baby Faceblock: This Face block comes in a 50ml jar and contains 50% Zinc Oxide, making it our most powerful sun protection product yet. It is thick and creamy and will not run or drip after swimming, making it perfect for outdoor activities.
Baby Sun Crayon: This sun protector comes in a stick form, making it compact and easy to apply while you are on the go. It contains 50% Zinc Oxide, which provides the ultimate UVA and UVB protection to your baby’s skin while outdoors. It also nourishes and moisturises the skin, ensuring that harsh conditions such as sea water, do not dry out your baby’s skin.