What you need to do to avoid getting the most dangerous form of skin cancer

What you need to do to avoid getting the most dangerous form of skin cancer

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. There is a good chance you will die from it. Although most patients recover. About 94% of skin cancer patients are alive after five years. Survival from skin cancer varies by stage. If melanoma is detected and treated at an early stage, the chance of a cure is high.

What can you do to avoid getting it?
Protect yourself from excessive exposure to sunlight
  • Avoid exposure to sunlight between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. when the rays are strongest
  • Wear protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses with UV protection
  • Apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and “broad spectrum” against UVA and UVB rays
  • Let your skin get used to the sun and not burn
Look for suspicious moles
  • Check your skin and moles regularly for changes in color, shape, size, or other abnormalities.
  • If in doubt, see a doctor immediately, early detection is crucial
  • People with many moles or a familial predisposition have a greater risk and should be extra alert.
Avoid risk factors
  • Sunbeds Significantly increased risk
  • Some medications and treatments such as phototherapy can increase the risk
  • People with fair skin, freckles, or red hair have a higher risk
By properly protecting yourself from the sun, checking suspicious spots immediately and avoiding risk factors, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing life-threatening melanoma.
Characteristics of melanoma
  • It often arises from an existing mole that changes colour, shape or size or starts to itch/bleed
  • It can also appear as a new spot on the skin
  • It often has an irregular shape, multiple colors, and rapid growth
  • It can spread to other parts of the body such as lymph nodes in a late stage
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Risk factors
  • Excessive exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays, especially at a young age
  • Fair skin, freckles and red hair
  • Many moles or atypical/abnormal moles
  • Genetic predisposition, such as FAMMM syndrome

Due to its aggressive nature and risk of metastasis, early detection of melanoma is critical for successful treatment.

This is why it is important to monitor suspicious spots on the skin closely and consult a doctor immediately if any changes occur.

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