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Celebrate National Cancer Prevention Month by Understanding Your Skin Cancer Risk

Posted on: February 2nd, 2023 by Dr. Christopher Crosby

Did you know February is National Cancer Prevention Month? The team at Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic believes the best way to observe this month is to help patients understand their skin cancer risk. Here, we discuss skin cancer and your skin cancer risk.

What Is Skin Cancer?

Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells develop and divide uncontrollably. Skin cancer, as its name suggests, is the abnormal growth of skin cells. It can occur on any area of your body, not just areas exposed to the sun.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. The prognosis for most types of skin cancer is generally good, with early diagnosis and treatment. That is why understanding your skin cancer risks and the signs of skin cancer is so important. This knowledge can help to save your life.

Are There Different Kinds of Skin Cancer?

There are many different kinds of skin cancer. The following are the three most common types of skin cancer:

  • Basal cell carcinoma – The most common type of skin cancer. It is considered the least aggressive as it grows slowly but it can destroy tissue around it.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma The second most common type of skin cancer. It can be aggressive but is easily treatable. That is why early detection and treatment is so important.
  • Melanoma This type of skin cancer tends to be more aggressive and can grow and spread to other areas of the body. It is a serious skin cancer. However, melanoma can be highly curable if it is diagnosed and treated early. 

What Is Your Skin Cancer Risk?

Anyone can get skin cancer. However, there are certain factors that may put you at a greater risk of developing skin cancer, including the following:

  • Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays including sunlight and tanning beds
  • A family history of skin cancer
  • A personal history of skin cancer
  • Certain types of moles
  • Sun sensitive skin that burns, freckles or quickly reddens with sun exposure
  • Older age

Your physical characteristics can also indicate that you are at a greater risk of developing skin cancer. If you have any of the following characteristics (naturally), your risk of developing skin cancer may be higher:

  • Light or fair skin
  • Green or blue eyes
  • Red or blonde hair

Schedule Your Skin Cancer Screening

Regular skin cancer screenings are the best way to prevent and treat skin cancer. Schedule your skin cancer screening today with one of the many experienced doctors at Grossmont Dermatology Medical Clinic. Call or text (619) 462-1670 to make an appointment at our La Mesa, California office.

Coastal Skin & Eye Institute/Grossmont Dermatology