Learn about skin cancer prevention and screening from your Newport Beach dermatologist
Of the various types of cancer treated in our country, skin cancer is one of the most common. About one in five people are affected by skin cancer at some point, and more than three thousand die annually as a result of non-melanoma skin cancers. Each year, more than nine thousand melanoma deaths occur. What is so tragic about the loss of more than twelve thousand lives annually is that most skin cancers can be prevented. As much as 90 percent are the result of UV exposure, and this is something we have the power to control. We also know that early detection significantly improves the outcome of treatment for existing skin cancers.
Protecting yourself with skin cancer prevention in Newport Beach
Dr. Arta Farshidi is an experienced Southern California dermatologist who understands the draw of the beautiful outdoors in our coastal region. However, she remains committed to fighting the statistics on skin cancer by working with patients on prevention and screening. There are three specific phases of protection with which you can arm yourself:
- Sun savvy is an important trait, especially in Southern California. When going outdoors, even if you are only driving up the coast in your car, broad spectrum sunscreen should be worn. Direct sunlight during peak hours should be avoided, as should sunless tanning in tanning beds.
- Self examination for skin cancer should be performed on a monthly basis. The better you know your skin, the more quickly detection will occur if a mole or mark looks suspicious.
- Skin cancer screenings should be scheduled with an experienced dermatologist on a yearly basis. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology published a study reporting that professional skin cancer screening contributed to a 50 percent reduction in melanoma deaths.
The purpose of self-examination is to quickly detect changes in your skin that may indicate abnormalities. In order to achieve this, familiarity with the moles and marks on your own skin is necessary. There are several warning signs that will alert you to the need for prompt medical evaluation:
- Jagged or irregular borders on a mole or growth
- New moles or lesions
- Any change in color, texture, shape, or size of a mole
- Large moles and growths (bigger than .25 inches in diameter)
- Sores that do not seem to heal, or recur frequently
- Persistent itching, bleeding, oozing, crusting, or pain in a mole or growth
Skin cancer is not a “wait and see” kind of condition. If a spot seems abnormal, a visit with your dermatologist should be made promptly. To schedule your skin cancer screening, contact us at (949) 531-7111.
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