Published 6 months ago, by Roeland Pater
Skin cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers in the world. The incidence numbers have been rising for decades now, and with summer temperatures around the world reaching (or breaking) records, these numbers do not seem to decline soon. So why is skin cancer so common? That's an important question to answer if we want to fight this threat globally. Let's take a look at the most pressing causes.
The first sentence of this article, where we state that skin cancer is one of the fastest growing types of cancer, is something that usually shocks people. One of the major causes of rising skin cancer rates is the lack of awareness. There are countries where skin cancer is heavily campaigned against.
For example in New Zealand and Australia, people are educated at a young age. But for other countries this is not the case. When we understand our risks better, we can take care of it better.
For you, reading this article means that you are already aware of the risk or at least exploring it. Make sure to educate your friends and family members as well. That's important. If you need a simple tool that goes with that, share the SkinVision app with them so they can track their own skin and check for signs of skin cancer whenever they need to.
Lifestyle, sun and tanning beds
The second common cause for skin cancer is lifestyle. We love the sun! And that makes sense, as sunlight is healthy and makes you feel good. But the sun's UV radiation is also the biggest cause of skin cancer globally.
How to deal with it? Make sure to always use sunscreen (and re-apply often!) when you are outside, both for fun and work. And don't over-expose yourself to sunlight. During the hottest hours, don't stay in the sun too long but find some shade as well.
Oh, and tanning beds you want to absolutely avoid. Multiple studies have proven that those are a major cause of skin cancer cases. The UV radiation from these beds is strong and people do not properly protect themselves.
Not seeing a doctor in time
Whenever we feel that something might be wrong, most of us don't run off to the doctor immediately. Same goes for our skin. When we see a skin spot that looks a bit odd, or has changed recently - we might worry, but we hope that it will go away.
It's important to know that for skin cancer (and for melanoma especially, the most deadly form) it's essential to detect it early, so that treatment can start and will be sufficient to get rid of it. The longer you wait, the more difficult it gets to treat and the more dangerous it becomes.
So make sure to regularly check your skin for any developments and if you feel uncomfortable, go and see a doctor early.