Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer

Patient Education at Southern Regional

Before you can launch an effective battle against skin cancer, it's important to understand the basics. Here you'll find some answers that will help you move forward with a solid grounding in the facts and be able to more effectively fight skin cancer.

What is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is the most common form of human cancer. It is estimated that over 1 million new cases occur annually. The annual rates of all forms of skin cancer are increasing each year, representing a growing public concern. It has also been estimated that nearly half of all Americans who live to age 65 will develop skin cancer at least once.

The most common warning sign of skin cancer is a change in the appearance of the skin, such as a new growth or a sore that will not heal.

Prevention and Detection

The primary risk factor for developing melanoma is excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. The best way to prevent skin cancer is by protecting your skin from UV radiation and by avoiding it as much as possible. Sunscreen can help protect your skin, but it cannot completely prevent skin cancer.

Detecting skin cancer as early as possible is very important. You should perform a skin self exam at least once every month. If you notice any changes in your skin or your moles, consult your doctor right away.

Risk Factors

The following risk factors increase the chance of developing melanoma skin cancer.

Moles – Having certain types of moles makes a person more likely to develop melanoma.

Age – The rate of melanomas increases with age.

Gender – Men have a higher rate of melanoma than women.

Fair skin

Family history of melanoma

Immune Suppression

Exposure to Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation – The main source of UV radiation is sunlight. Tanning lamps and booths are another source.

Past History of Melanoma

Treatment Options

In recent years, there have been many advances in treatments for skin cancer.

Southern Regional provides the most advanced treatments and state-of-the-art surgical options. And we have plenty of resources to help you make informed decisions.