SUNSCREEN AND SKIN CANCER PREVENTION:
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
Sun exposure is the top cause of skin cancer, but it’s also avoidable. Make sun protection part of your daily routine with broad spectrum UVA-UVB very high protection sunscreen. Skin cancer falls into 3 main categories: actinic keratosis, basal cell carcinoma and melanoma. Consistent lifelong sunscreen use reduces your risk of all 3. If you have a lot of moles, you are at particular risk of skin cancer, since 35% of melanomas arise from existing moles. To check your moles, use the ABCDE method:
A: Asymmetry. Is your mole asymmetrical?
B: Border. Does your mole have an irregular border?
C: Colour. Does your mole contain different colours?
D: Diameter. Is your mole greater than 6 mm in diameter?
E: Evolution. Is your mole changing?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you should see a dermatologist as soon as possible for a professional mole check. If detected early enough, 90% of skin cancers are curable, which is why screening is so important. Check your moles today with SAVE YOUR SKIN.
The critical window for skin cancer prevention is age 0-20, which is why it is especially important to protect skin in childhood and adolescence, and to teach children sun-smart behaviours that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives:• Seek shade between 11 am and 3 pm.
• Protect skin with hats, sunglasses and protective clothing.
• Generously apply very high protection UVA-UVB sunscreen every 2 hours.
Claims that sunscreen causes cancer lack any evidence base. There is an overwhelming body of evidence that sunscreen is not only safe, but also reduces your risk of cancers such as melanoma.
3Parkin DM, Mesher D, Sasieni P. Cancers attributable to solar (ultraviolet) radiation exposure in the UK in 2010. Br J Cancer 2011; 105:S66-S69.