Time to Celebrate: August Is Sun Safety Month
At Orange County Cyberknife, we are excited for August because it is sun safety month. The skin is the largest organ in the body, so it is probably no surprise that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. That is why we are excited to celebrate people taking good care of their skin and protecting it from solar radiation.
There are around 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer diagnosed in the United States of America every year. That is a staggering figure that could be significantly mitigated is more people were to take a few additional, reasonable precautions.
As leading providers of chemotherapy, surgery and CyberKnife Orange County Cyberknife is committed to our patients’ success fighting cancer. Education is a major component of this. Below you will find information on skin cancer, skin cancer treatment and how to protect yourself and celebrate sun safety month.
What Is Skin Cancer?
Skin cancer is any form of cancer that affects the skin. It is the most common form of cancer and is usually low-grade. In most cases, there is no potential for the cancer to spread to other parts of the body, also known as metastasizing. Nonetheless, it is still malignant and needs to be treated promptly and effectively. These are some of the main forms of skin cancer:
- Basal Cell Carcinoma: This is the most common form of skin cancer. It is a slow-growing form of cancer with a low risk of spreading. If left alone, it can cause scarring, deformity and even loss of function in some parts of the body.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma: The second most common form of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma is similar to basal cell in many ways. It is a little more likely to spread, however.
- Melanoma: This form of skin cancer is much less common; however, it is more dangerous. It can spread to other parts of the body, at which point it can be hard to treat.
What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?
Sun exposure is a major risk factor for developing skin cancer. The ultraviolet light from the sun can damage your skin cells and cause the formation of cancerous growth. The American Cancer Society notes that the best way to avoid skin cancer is to stay in the shade when possible. If you are in the sunlight, follow these precautions:
- Wear a shirt and other covering clothing
- Apply sunscreen thoroughly and reapply regularly
- Wear a hat, ideally one that shades your whole head
- Put on sunglasses
Additionally, be watchful of your skin for sunburn and any changes. This can include redness, raised areas, pink growths, open sores, new moles and other changes in color and texture. If you are uncertain about a change in your skin or have experienced excess sun exposure, consult your doctor or the team of experts at Orange County Cyberknife.
Learn More With Orange County Cyberknife
The summer and sunny weather are fun, and it is nice getting a chance to enjoy them. However, skin cancer and skin cancer treatment are not enjoyable. So, take appropriate precautions and protect yourself from the sun. Contact Orange County Cyberknife to learn more or to schedule an appointment.