Some people think that skin cancer is inevitable. They have spent their whole lives outdoors without protection so there is no point starting now because it is probably too late. But cancer just doesn’t work that way.
Skin cancer can be a little like playing golf. Some people might get a hole-in-one after only 1 year of playing, whereas someone else might take 20 years, and others may never get that illusive hole-in-one. Skin cancer can strike some people after only a small number of exposures, whereas some people spend years exposed to the sun before they get a skin cancer diagnosis, and others may never get skin cancer, even after a lifetime in the sun. There is just no hard and fast rule about who is going to get it and who is not. But what is known is that by using sun protection, even after years of exposure, you are going to reduce the chance of being diagnosed with skin cancer, even if just by a small margin.
Skin cancer is an almost entirely preventable cancer. This means it is not inevitable in life and things can be done to reduce your likelihood of a skin cancer diagnosis. It is as simple as Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide.
As well as focussing on prevention, you can also help yourself by regularly checking your skin for any spots or moles that might be new, changing or look strange. Skin cancer identified and treated in the early stages of development are more likely to be successfully treated and leave less scaring and long term damage. In short, by being vigilant, even if you are diagnosed with skin cancer, the earlier you get onto it, the more likely it will end in a positive outcome.
Checking your skin can be as easy as ABC….D and E.
You should be looking out for a spot that is Asymmetrical, has an irregular Border, has different Colours, has an enlarging Diameter or is Evolving or changing in some way. Just one of these characteristics should alert you that something could be wrong, and you should go to see your doctor about it as soon as you can.
It is never too late to look after your health. Use sun protection measures when you are outdoors and the UV index is 3 or above, as well as regularly checking your skin using the ABCDE method. Skin cancer is not inevitable in life, regardless of the years of exposure to UV radiation, so try and make the positive change today.