Am I at Risk for Skin Cancer?

Am I at Risk for Skin Cancer?

Many people may think when summer is over, so is their need for sunscreen. However, this couldn't be more wrong, especially given the fact more people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the United States every year than all other types of cancer put together

Dr. Peter Karlsberg and his physician's assistant Michele Ayans bring extensive experience to their treatment of skin cancer, as well as a wide variety of cosmetic dermatological offerings at the Ventura Institute for Dermatologic Arts in Ventura and Camarillo, California. Using a combination of art and science, they provide care that is thorough, personalized, and always focused on creating the best possible outcome.

Types of skin cancer

There are a number of different types of skin cancer, ranging from the most common basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma to melanoma, which is the most deadly. There are also lesser known kinds, such as Kaposi sarcoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, and more.

Risk factors

Many people may wonder if they're at risk for skin cancer. The short answer is likely yes. Given one in five Americans will develop this type of cancer by the time they are 70 years old, the numbers alone make it a significant possibility. However, there are other factors of which individuals should be aware.

When it comes to skin cancer, some variables are out of a person's control. These include such things as being older, having a lot of moles and/or moles of a certain type, and having a family or personal history of skin cancer. In addition, while anyone can get cancer, those with skin that is lighter and/or freckles or burns easily tend to be more vulnerable. Eyes that are blue or green and hair that is blond or red are also risk factors.

Behavior and lifestyle choices can also increase a person's chances of getting skin cancer. Exposure to the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays can lead to skin cancer from cellular damage. Getting sunburned is even worse with just five or more sunburns doubling a person's risk of melanoma. Indoor tanning is dangerous, too, with an individual experiencing a 75% increased chance of melanoma simply from tanning inside just once before the age of 35.

Fortunately, there are a number of steps people can take to help avoid getting skin cancer. These include avoiding sun exposure as much as possible by wearing protective clothing, staying in the shade, and using a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) number of 15 or more. Also, skip the tanning bed.

For people who have detected an abnormal growth or have a prior history of skin cancer and are seeking expert treatment, call us today at 805-214-6903 (Ventura) or 805-221-8789 (Camarillo) to make an appointment for a professional evaluation.

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