Nowadays everyone thinks they’re somewhat of an expert on skin cancer. Between having growths ourselves, or hearing about those of friends, most of us know lots of information about the sun and what it’s doing to our skin. Maybe that’s why no one lays on the roof and puts baby oil on their skin anymore!
Still, there are misperceptions about skin cancer. So, your friends at the Laser Center of Maryland put together a little Skin Cancer Test for you. Let’s see how well you do.
Each question is true or false.
- You won’t get skin cancer from tanning beds.
- Using sunscreen will prevent skin cancer from developing.
- Skin cancer is the United States’ most common form of cancer.
- Skin cancer can be prevented.
- Melanoma is the most common type of skin cancer.
- Most skin cancer cases can be cured.
- People with moles have a higher risk for melanoma.
- Most people who get skin cancer die from it.
- False. Tanning beds increase your chances of developing skin cancer, not the other way around. There are no safe UV rays (the rays that tan your skin).
- False. Sunscreen doesn’t allow you to spend unlimited time in the sun. It helps block harmful rays, but you need to limit your exposure.
- True. About one million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. Plus, more than that number probably go undiagnosed.
- True. There are ways to lessen your exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Sun damage is cumulative, caused by UVA rays (they penetrate the skin and cause wrinkles) and UVB (they cause sunburn). Wear sun-blocking clothing. Wear sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Examine your skin regularly. Don’t use tanning beds.
- False. Melanoma is only about five percent of skin cancers, but it does cause the majority of deaths. This is because melanoma can grow downward and release cancer cells into the bloodstream where they can then travel anywhere in the body.
- True. All skin cancers, if caught early enough, can be cured with surgery.
- True. People with lots of moles (40 or more) or especially large moles are at a higher risk for melanoma. Check your moles constantly to see if they change shape or color.
- False. If detected early enough, most skin cancer cases are resolved successfully. But vigilance and early detection are key.
Living in Maryland with all of the water and outdoor activities, we all need to be conscious of our exposure to the sun and the skin cancers it creates. If you have a spot that concerns you, call an expert on skin cancer at the Laser Center of Maryland, 410-544-4600, and let’s take a look.