Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Florida’s skin cancer rate is higher than the national rate of 23 people, per 100,000. Applying sun protection should be an everyday habit that will help prevent sunburn and reduce the risk of skin cancer when enjoying the Florida sunshine.
There are three major types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Melanoma, the least common, but the most fatal because it is more likely to spread to other parts of the body.
Anyone can get skin cancer; however, higher risk factors include:
- Lighter natural skin color.
- Skin that burns, freckles, reddens easily, or becomes painful in the sun.
- Blue or green eyes.
- Blond or red hair.
- Certain types and high quantity of moles.
- Family or personal history of skin cancer.
- Older age.
A change in your skin is the most common sign of skin cancer – this could be a new growth, a sore that won’t heal, or a change in the appearance of a mole. Not all skin cancers look the same. Talk with your health care provider if you notice the following changes in your skin or notice any of the signs of melanoma:
ABCDEs of melanoma moles and spots:
Asymmetrical: Does it have an irregular shape with two parts that look very different?
Border: Is the border irregular or jagged?
Color: Is the color uneven?
Diameter: Is it larger than the size of a pea?
Evolving: Has it changed during the past few weeks or months?