Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, affecting more than 2 million Americans each year. In fact, 1 in 5 people in the United States will get skin cancer, and in a sunny place like Florida, the incidence of skin cancer is even higher.
There are several different kinds of skin cancers that everyone should know about:
Melanoma- This is one of the most dangerous forms of skin cancer. Most melanomas look like irregular moles and are brown or black. If caught early, melanoma can be treated and has a high cure rate. However, if untreated, it can spread or metastasize to other areas of the body and can be fatal. The American Cancer Society estimates that over 76,000 melanomas were diagnosed in 2014 in the United States with almost 10,000 of these cases being fatal.
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC)- This is the most common type of skin cancer. BCCs often look like red bumps with small blood vessels on them, but they can also look like scars, open sores, and small red scaly bumps. Although BCCs rarely spread to other areas of the body, if left untreated, they can grow and cause significant damage. The American Cancer Society estimates that almost 3 million cases of BCCs are diagnosed annually.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)- This is the second most common type of skin cancer. SCCs often look like small scaly flesh colored or red bumps. If caught early, SCC has a high cure rate. If left untreated, however, SCC can spread to other areas of the body and be fatal. The American Cancer Society estimates that almost 700,000 squamous cell carcinomas are diagnosed annually with up to 9,000 of these cases being fatal.
The most important thing you should know about skin cancer is that it is preventable, and the earlier you start exercising good sun safety habits, the higher your chances are of minimizing your risk of developing skin cancer.
Here’s what you can do to help minimize your risk of skin cancer:
Seek the shade- Whenever possible, try to be in the shade. For example, if you are at the pool or the beach, try to be under an umbrella as often as you can. If you are on a boat, you can sit under a canopy.
Do not use tanning beds- Using tanning beds can double or triple your risk of getting skin cancer.
Know that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.- If possible, try to schedule your activities before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. A few hours can make a big difference in terms of the amount of dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays that you are exposed to.
Wear sunscreen- I recommend an SPF of 30 or higher. In order to cover your entire body, you need 1 ounce or 2 tablespoons (1 shot glass) of sunscreen. Make sure to reapply it every 2 hours or more often if you are in the water or sweating heavily. In 2012, the FDA made new guidelines for sunscreen labeling. Make sure that the sunscreen you use has the label broad spectrum which means that it protects against both UVA and UVB light. Also, sunscreen manufacturers are no longer allowed to state that sunscreen is waterproof. Instead, sunscreen has the label water resistant up to 40 minutes or up to 80 minutes. If you are going to be swimming or sweating, make sure to use water resistant sunscreen.
Wear sun protective clothing- Wear a broad brimmed hat, UV-protective sunglasses, and sun protective clothing. Some of my favorite websites to get sun protective clothing from are www.coolibar.com and www.sundayafternoons.com.
Do self skin exams- You should do this every month to look for any new or changing skin lesions. You should especially look for changing moles that could be signs of melanoma. Make sure you know about the ABCDEs of melanoma. If a mole is Asymmetric, has changing Borders, has changing Colors, has a Diameter of over 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser), or is Evolving or changing, then it could be a melanoma.
See a Board Certified Dermatologist- Make sure to see a Board Certified Dermatologist at least once per year for a full-body skin cancer examination.
If you follow these simple steps, you can safely enjoy the outdoors and know you are doing the right thing to minimize your risk of skin cancer.
- Dr. Leonid Trost, MD is a Board Certified Dermatologist and Fellowship Trained Mohs surgeon who completed his Residency and Fellowship at the world-famous Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Trost served as a Staff Dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic as well. Named one of America’s Top Dermatologists, Dr. Trost has published numerous textbook chapters and scientific journal articles. Dr. Trost established a dermatology center in Florida that provides a compassionate and holistic approach to patient care. He values treating the entire patient, not just a specific disease or condition. In addition, he offers cosmetic services such as Botox, fillers, and laser surgery. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 239-492-SKIN (7546) or visit www.AcuteDermatology.com.
We live in a world where fashion consumption relies on mass production, cheap labor and conventional trends ideas like sustainability, creativity and quality are sacrificed. Not for Swedish Hasbeens though!
Swedish Hasbeens began in 2006 following founder Emy Blixt’s fortuitous return to a then-abandoned clog factory she remembered from her childhood. Today, Swedish Hasbeens’ ambition is to continue to reinvent the 70’s style-staples including handbags, clogs, and belts, all of which are made of ecologically prepared natural grain leather.
To help banish the overtly sexualized images of women, Swedish Hasbeens turned to showing women, as they truly are – natural.
That is why the Swedish Hasbeens 2015 collection is inspired by the powerful and individual women of the second wave of feminism in the 1980s. During the 80’s the style and fashion was infused with humor, equality and colors. It’s all about the edgy style of Grace Jones, the fearless style of Debbie Harry, the post punk gothic style of Vivienne Westwood and the strong women in Helmut Newton photos.
Hasbeens takes the natural approach to their shoes with comfort and functionality. The shoes are all unique since they are hand-made of lime tree wood and natural vegetable tanned leather in the old and happy factories in Sweden, Italy and the United States by skilled artisans.
It’s all about funky, feminine happy clogs that make happy people!
- For more information on Swedish Hasbeens visit www.swedishhasbeens.com!