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Monday, April 30, 2012

Skin Cancer and Sun Safety

I know it’s a little early for this but since the weather has been so warm in most parts of the county and it is getting closer to summer, I thought I’d share some links on skin cancer and sun safety.  It’s never too early to start protecting yourself.

So you think a tanning bed is safer than being out in the sun?
For information on tanning equipment, visit the EPA website:

Skin cancer treatment: sources of authoritative information
There are many kinds of treatments available depending on the type of cancer.  For melanoma, the options are surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and biologic therapy.  For more information on all aspects of melanoma, visit http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/skin/patient/

 For treatment information on Merkel cell carcinoma, visit http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Sites-Types/merkel-cell

Squamous cell carcinoma treatment information can be found at http://www.cap.org/apps/docs/reference/myBiopsy/squamous_cell_skin_cancer.pdf

Treatment options vary widely depending on the type of cancer and the stage of the cancer.  It is important to ask your doctor proper questions in order to make an informed decision about your treatment.  The previous links provide authoritative information on the various types of cancer.

For more information on all aspects of skin cancer, visit the MedlinePlus skin cancer page at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/skincancer.html#cat3

Types of Skin Cancer
To see what Basal Cell Carcinoma looks like, please visit the following website from the American Academy of Dermatology:

To see what squamous  cell carcinoma looks like, please visit the following website from the American Academy of Dermatology:  http://www.skincarephysicians.com/skincancernet/squamous_cell_carcinoma.html

To see what melanoma looks like, please visit the following website from the American Academy of Dermatology: http://www.skincarephysicians.com/skincancernet/melanoma.html

To see what Merkel cell carcinoma looks like and for more information, visit the following web site from the American Academy of Dermatology:  http://www.skincarephysicians.com/skincancernet/whatis_merkel_cell.html

Skin Cancer Self-Examination and Prevention
It is important to protect yourself in order to prevent skin cancer or to find it early.  For a great sheet with instructions for skin cancer self-examination, check out:  http://www.melanomamonday.org/documents/08_96%20Melanoma%20Monday%20Mole%20Map.pdf

For more information on protecting kids from the sun, visit http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/outdoor/sun_safety.html

With the overwhelming amount of sun protection products, it’s important to understand what all those claims mean.  The FDA is in the process of finalizing its long-awaited label changes to sunscreens.  One of those changes would be that no sunscreen would have higher than a 50 SPF.  All those claims of high SPF numbers and all the other claims can be very confusing.  To find out more information on sun protection and sunscreens, visit http://www.medicinenet.com/sun_protection_and_sunscreens/article.htm

Have you seen all those ads for special sun-protective clothing and wondered if it’s worth it?  Here’s a great article from the Mayo Clinic answering that very question:  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sun-protective-clothing/AN01975

The CDC has some great information on skin cancer and covering up when out in the hot summer sun.  Although the campaign has officially ended, they still have a lot of great information available online.  Check out these sites:

Choose Your Cover Campaign Materials

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