Who was basking in the sun this weekend?
Who has basked in the sun over the last 5 or 6 decades?
Who has covered themselves with baby oil and then fallen asleep poolside, in your lounge chair in your backyard or on the beach?
Most of us probably still have our hands raised so I have 3 myths to dispel about skin cancer while I have your attention.
Myth #1: I have ‘brown’ skin so I won’t get skin cancer.
- False. All skin types are at risk for getting skin cancer. Having less pigment in your skin does increase the risk of damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays but all skin that is constantly exposed to these rays is at risk. There are skin cancers that occur from other causes as well so continue to inspect your skin and have others peek at your back.
Myth #2: Only people with blue or light colored eyes get skin cancer.
- False. Individuals of all eye colors can get skin cancer. Those with lighter eyes are more likely to get the ones from UV ray damage but again, there are other types that you need to be aware of.
Myth #3: Only older individuals will get skin cancer.
- False. Individuals of all ages can get skin cancer. Your risk is based on your personal and family history, total sun exposure and the number of sunburns or tanning bed sessions. It is never too late to begin become proactive with this preventative measure.
There are many types of skin cancers so it is important to read about the different types so that you can act on any changes that you may notice on your skin. The Mayo Clinic has a great summary of what to look for and the different types of skin cancers. It has great pictures of the different types of skin cancer.
Read through this resource and then look at your skin from all angles and make note of any concerns that you may have. Take pictures for your personal files. Schedule a follow up appointment with your clinician to discuss your concerns or bring this up at your next preventative visit.