One sunburn won’t cause the changes to skin cells that turn into cancer, but it adds to your previous exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) components of sunlight.
Those cumulative effects, however, can cause precancerous mutations five or more years down the road. It could be much longer before there are spots advanced enough for you to recognize.
That makes an annual autumn skin cancer screening with Lawrence Otolaryngology Associates a smart move. As skin cancer specialists, they know the signs of skin change long before cancer is a threat, and early detection is always key to successful cancer treatment.
If you’re a sun lover who hasn’t been checked for skin cancer recently, there’s no better time than now.
Skin cancer facts
There’s a 20% chance that you’ll have a skin cancer experience by the time you reach the age of 70. While skin cancer is the most common form of the disease worldwide, it’s also one of the most survivable cancers in the United States.
Most incidences of skin cancer occur on skin that’s routinely exposed to the sun, though in rare cases, it can emerge virtually anywhere. People of all skin types and colors can develop skin cancer, but a visible change on your skin isn’t always cancerous.
As well as your regular screenings with a skin cancer specialist, consult your doctor whenever you notice a change that concerns you.
Why annual screenings are important
Since you won’t see sun damage that occurred this past summer, why is fall a good time for an annual screening? It’s true, a fall skin check-up is somewhat arbitrary. However, if you’re an annual sun worshipper, your pattern of sun exposure is consistent year to year.
The post-summer is simply a good habit to develop to stay proactive about your skin health. Consider it end-of-season preventive maintenance.
New spots are a bigger issue
When it comes to the deadliest form of skin cancer, new spots are twice as likely to be cancerous than existing moles. A compilation study of over 20,000 cases of melanoma showed that 71% developed from new skin spots, while only 29% traced back to previous skin blemishes.
That makes it somewhat easier to recognize potential cancers, as long as your self-checks are comprehensive and include efforts to view parts of the body you can’t see without mirrors or photographs.
Augmenting your own self-checks with regular visits with a skin cancer expert is the best strategy to catch potential problems when your survivability rate is closest to 100%.
No one questions the practice of seeing their dentist regularly for preventive care. Given the success rate of early detection for skin cancer, the case for preventive skincare is equally strong.
Set up your post-summer skin cancer check with Lawrence Otolaryngology Associates now, before other priorities push it to the back burner.
With locations in Lawrence and Ottawa, Kansas, all it takes is a quick phone call to contact the most convenient office. You can also send a message to the team here on the website.
Telehealth appointments are now available so there’s no reason to avoid routine care. Book your exam today.