Where are you in finding yourself on the road to How Skin Cancer Awareness Starts? Becoming aware of the sun’s dangers, and acting on the changes.
Yes, there are actions you can take to protect yourself that may delay your body from developing skin cancer.
Being aware of how skin cancer starts is important in helping you to be aware of the dangers of too much sun.
When you first notice that funny-looking spot on your nose, you will probably scratch at it as it looks dry and scaly. The first time or two, it will probably just flake right off in the shower.
That is only normal, isn’t it? Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. Let’s get a bit of Skin Cancer 101 information.
Skin Cancer Awareness Basics
I know you’re tired of all the warnings.
You have lived in the sun all this time and have not had a problem. This is why this most common skin cancer is so aggravating.
We know better.
However, we still like our life in the sun.
And this is why we develop skin cancer
Just like someone who develops diabetes 2. You know that you need to make some changes, but you like how you are eating.
It just doesn’t seem fair that your body is suddenly not working as it always has.
This is similar to what happens with your skin. You finally pushed the limits of your skin to heal and recover.
Your skin is letting you know that you have over-exposed yourself too often. There are areas and patches on your arms, your neck, and your nose. You are now aware that something is going on with your skin.
Denying the change is no longer a choice.
Your Skin Cancer Awareness
Out-of-control growth of abnormal cells in the epidermis, the outermost skin layer is usually referred to as skin cancer.
This outer layer is made up of 3 thin layers, each one having its own layer of skin cells. This is how your skin holds your body together. You remember all this stuff, I know, just need to remind myself
You may also remember that skin cancer is a disease where malignant or cancer cells form in the tissues of the skin.
These cells form because there has been damage to the cells. Their DNA no longer reproduces itself correctly. In an effort to repair damaged cells, these unguided cells don’t know when to start or when to quit reproduction. They operate out of control.
The image shows how innocent and small the first stages of basal cell carcinoma can look.
Remember, this is skin that will not heal down nice and smooth. This is how skin cancer may look like it is healing up, and probably is somewhat healed.
However, it has damaged DNA and now is a bit out of control.
If this particular spot is where it will receive more sun, it will continue to show up. Don’t ignore it.
Review A Bit
The epidermis is your outermost skin layer. Remember, there are 3 layers in your epidermis layer.
Damage is caused in the DNA part of the skin cell. These cells have been exposed to Ultra Violet Rays from some source, repeatedly.
They have been damaged so badly that the DNA is no longer working properly. The part that tells the cell reproduction to stop is not working.
Remember your skin is the biggest organ in your body. It has a large and important part to play in your general health.
When your body can’t protect itself and repair your skin correctly, your cells do not heal themselves correctly. Your DNA, the controller of how your skin reproduces itself is not working as it should.
Your body, in an effort to heal itself, ends up with mutations or cells that do not grow back correctly.
The changes are slight to start with, but they are there.
Skin Cancer Awareness Helps Alert You
These mutations result in skin cells that multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. Remember, this is happening at the outer level of your skin.
You are showering and washing off the excess cells. The buildup gets scrubbed away.
However, the “place” on your skin is just not able to heal smoothly and permanently.
While this is going on, you are not very aware. It flakes off, looks healthy when you dry off and you think things are going great.
You aren’t aware that this particular spot is not behaving normally. Eventually, you will have a small lesion or a small bump or lump where those cells are collecting.
The excess cells have only two choices. They can build up, or flake off. A spot will probably look like a place where a scab falls off, only smaller.
Or it will have a raised spot of some description. When cells don’t fall off they cling and make bumps. Sometimes resembling a mole on your skin.
Skin Cancer Awareness 101
That is when you need to be aware and make sure you are covering that spot with clothing to protect yourself from more skin damage.
If not clothing, sunscreen on your face and wherever you can’t cover your skin, like the tops of your hands.
The time has come for you to take responsibility for protecting your skin. If you choose to ignore these warnings, your new best friend in a few years could well be a good dermatologist. You will probably be visiting more often.
Most people can plan when they want to be out in the sun. This is where you step up and really become aware of how much you can help your skin.
Be aware of how you can control when you are out in the sun.
The direct rays from 10 AM until 4 PM are the ones that do the most damage. You need to carefully consider your times of being out.
Could you get out earlier in the day, and stay in during the hotter times?
If you still insist on being out in the direct sun exposure times, make sure to cover up. Protect your skin. It really isn’t that hard to do! Get yourself a cool hat with a brim.
Wear that loose-fitting long-sleeved shirt. Always make sure that you have your sunglasses.
Wear those long pants to protect your legs. Your skin must be protected. More information about being sun-ready
Basic Sun Block Wardrobe
Start with the hat and sunglasses. The shirt protects your shoulders, neck, chest, back, and arms. Your hands will need applications of sunscreen if the cuffs of the shirt don’t come down and protect the tops of your hands.
This is the number one place for long-lasting sun damage. Protect yourself.
If you are self-conscious about wearing a shirt when everyone else is shirtless, make sure the shirt is comfortable and looks good. You can start the day without a shirt in the sun, using sunscreen.
Then about 10 AM quietly slip your shirt on. Then after 4 PM, you can again go shirtless, after reapplying sunscreen.
You just don’t need to hit the golf course at 1 PM without a wide-brimmed hat and long sleeves, or gloves. Sunscreen too. Protect yourself.
Skin Cancer Warning For Darker Toned Skin
Just a word here for those of you with darker-colored skin you are also exposing yourself to the sun’s damaging effects.
You may not sunburn, as quickly as your lighter-skinned friends, but a large part of the darker-skinned population does get a sunburn pretty quickly. Don’t risk it.
You will be seeing the effects of the sun’s damage to your skin and the way it ages you. Those creases and wrinkles are sun damage.
At the corner of the eye, along the cheek line on the neck. Around the mouth.
Overexposure to the sun’s rays carries some penalties. Dark skin tones do show sun damage.
All those lines are signs of sun damage. You must protect yourself like your lighter-skinned toned sun-loving friends and family.
This damage may not lead to skin cancer, as quickly. But the damage will not be something you want to live with for the rest of your life. Your skin will make you look older than you are.
Now, about skin cancer, if you are one who develops spots on your body that are precancerous, you should be able to see them. However, not all damaged skin is visible to the naked eye.
Take this warning to cover your skin with sun blocking clothing and wear your sunscreen. Beware of too much direct sun ray exposure time.
Know that avoiding the direct sun will be a skin-saving tactic.
Basic Skin Cancer Awareness
The 4 stages of skin cancer that our body develops are:
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC)
Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common and is what we will take more time for.
Quite often your dermatologist will treat this kind of early skin cancer with a prescription cream to apply.
The cream will help the affected area shed the bad cells and allow the good ones around to take over.
Another line of defense at early levels involves “freezing” the surface area which will peel, and ideally reveal healed skin. These treatments can be very effective and quick.
Your dermatologist may have another treatment he or she will use. There are several avenues for treating this first round of skin cancer.
The treatments come with the encouragement to take more steps to cover the skin. To avoid direct sunlight hours. Use sunscreen.
This is definitely a game where prevention is the wiser choice. Treatment may be easy at this level, but needing treatment is a sign that you are not using your preventative skills very well.
How do you improve your prevention? Through awareness. Skin cancer protection from the sun starts with your awareness.
Learn the terminology that is used in treating skin cancer. Know what your doctor is talking about with his diagnosis.
Work with your professional people to make sure your skin stays healthy. You need that sack that you call your skin to keep you healthy.
Just a word here- In an effort to help you become aware of what is happening to your skin when you get too much sun, please make yourself aware of the sun for the rest of your life.
Please pledge to take better care of yourself and your loved ones.
List Of Highlights For Easy Review
- Your skin is your body’s largest organ.
- This same skin protects you from the heat and the sunlight.
- You also receive protection from injury and infection because of your skin.
- Controlling your body temperature is another important function your skin performs when it is healthy.
- Our skin reserves your supply of water, fat, and vitamin D for your body to access as necessary.
- Remember, your skin has several layers, the upper or outer layer (epidermis) and the lower or inner layer(dermis) The epidermis is where skin cancer starts. This is made up of three kinds of skin cells
- The thin, flat cells that form the top layer of the epidermis are known as Squamous cells. The image used at the start of this article is an example of Squamous Cell Carcinoma
- Round cells for the next layer just under the squamous cells are known as your Basal cells.
- Cells that make your melanin and are found in the lower part of the epidermis are called- Melanocytes
- Melanin gives skin its natural color or pigment. When skin is exposed to the sun, melanocytes make more pigment and cause the skin to darken.
Sami’s Take On Skin Cancer Awareness
As one who has ignored the warnings I read, and paid the price. I guess I kind of like an ex-smoker. It is hard to change your lifestyle, especially if you still are a bit addicted to a tan.
This is not a condition that will usually change overnight, but it will.
Skin Cancer Awareness will soon help you identify the different ways you can allow yourself and your family to have safe fun in the sun days.
The idea of covering up and not letting the sun beat down on your skin for hours may seem like a sacrifice.
That is a mental picture that has been allowed to thrive for too long. The real blessing is helping your skin stay healthy. Healthy skin helps you have a long and safe life.
More people have skin cancer every year. We are now developing skin cancer growths to the point that 1 person in 5 will develop skin cancer.
As more people get older collecting years of ignoring sun safety, this skin cancer rate will grow.
Hopefully, we will learn to be aware, and get the irregular growths on our skin treated, to stay safe and help control the skin cancer death rates.
Becoming more aware will help you and your family stay safe. Pay attention to what is happening when you are out in the sun. Protect your skin.