Protecting Against Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world, and melanoma skin cancer kills nearly 9,000 people in the United States each year. It’s clearly important to protect yourself against skin cancer, but it seems like all we ever hear about in terms of skin protection is sunscreen. Are there other ways to protect against skin cancer? There are, and Swinyer-Woseth details them here.
How to Prevent Skin Cancer
- Don’t smoke. You might think of smoking only in conjunction with lung cancer but, in fact, it’s terrible for every part of your body. If you smoke, you’re increasing your risk of squamous skin cancer, particularly on your lips.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol is believed to be responsible for about 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths, and recent research indicates a connection between skin cancer and alcohol intake. The American Cancer Society recommends a limit of one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
- Eat a diet full of antioxidants. A diet full of fruits and vegetables can help prevent skin cancer, especially because antioxidant rich foods can fight the free radicals that cause the genetic mutations that lead to cancer. Fill your meals with orange colored vegetables and fruits, fatty fish, tomatoes, watermelon and citrus, nuts and seeds, milk and orange juice that are vitamin D fortified, berries, beef, lamb, shellfish, and legumes.
- Take vitamin B. Nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3, had been found in clinical trials to reduce the risk of skin cancer. In fact, this type of vitamin B can even protect against the harmful effects of UV radiation. The benefits of this vitamin stop when a person stops taking it, so it must be taken continuously.
- Consider other supplements. Getting the right nutrients from your diet is the ideal, but supplements can help you make sure you’re getting the proper nutrition. Additionally, NSAIDs like ibuprofen and aspirin may have an impact on skin cancer prevention, lowering the risk when taken regularly. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before taking NSAIDs, because they can have other, detrimental side effects.
- Take care of your body. Increasingly, research indicates that being unhealthy can lower your resistance to cancer. Limiting your sugar, eating a nutrient-dense diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting enough good-quality sleep can all help protect you against cancer.
- Check your skin regularly. Preferably once a month, check your entire body, in a well-lit room, in front of a full length mirror. Use a hand-held mirror to see hard to reach places, or enlist the help of a family member or close friend. Get to know the marks on your skin, so that you can notice changes and let your dermatologist know.
- See a dermatologist annually. An annual skin check from your dermatologist accomplishes a couple of things. First, it is a good way to catch skin cancer early on, when it is most treatable. However, it also gives your doctor the opportunity to get to know your skin, so that it’s even easier to determine when something changes.
Visit Swinyer-Woseth for a Skin Cancer Screening
When you need a skin cancer screening, look to Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology. Committed to providing superior, professional hair and skin care in a manner that’s practical, efficient, and compassionate, we have over 30 years of experience providing dermatological services in Salt Lake City. We provide a variety of services, from cosmetic skincare to treatment for skin cancer. Our team of board-certified dermatologists and licensed cosmetic service providers are here to provide you the care you need in a comfortable, professional atmosphere. Call (801) 682-4715 or contact us through our website.