So I called a dermatologist and was able to get in quickly. Hmmm, may be something, may be nothing, but we better take it off. Taking it off involved making a hole in my leg. Hmmmm!!!
A few days later I got the call. It was a squamous cell carcinoma, but they got it all. Whew!!! Now that I have had skin cancer, I will have to have a full body check every six months and watch for any signs in between checkups.
According to WHO, The World Health Organization, the incidence of both non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers has been increasing. Current statistics say that 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
Although anyone can get skin cancer, it is more prevalent in Caucasians, due to a lack of skin pigmentation.
Some individual risk factors for skin cancerI have all of these risk factors except the many moles. I have only a few of those.
It is important to note, that excessive sun exposure can damage all skin types, and although we look at a tan as being cosmetically pleasing, there is nothing healthy about a tan.
Some of the things you can do are:
- stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day. This even applies during winter, when the sun can reflect off of the snow.
- watch for the UV index
- use shade wisely
- wear protective clothing
- use sunscreen (I know there is controversy now over sunscreen so if you feel that this not something you want to do, you can follow the other guidelines)
- avoid sunlamps and tanning parlors
As we head out of summer and into fall, we are leaving the most dangerous time of year for sun exposure. So, this is a good time to check yourself for any skin irregularities and to make an appointment with a dermatologist for a full body check.
I am grateful that I found mine early and that it was not a melanoma, and even though I have pretty much stayed out of the sun for quite awhile, I know that I had some pretty bad exposure growing up. So I will definitely stay on top of it.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend.