Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, affecting one in five Americans in the course of a lifetime. Despite the risk factors, skin cancer remains one of the most preventable diseases with early detection.
Each year in the U.S., over 5.4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people.
One of the nation's leading Skin Cancer Experts, Dr. Tripp Parker explains the early warning signs of skin cancer, how often to get check-ups and what you can do at home to be proactive at skin cancer detection.
Dr. Tripp Parker recommends these daily, monthly, and annual prevention methods for the life of your skin.
STEP 1: Get Routine Skin Exams
Regular skin exams help reveal cancers when they are small, allowing for easier treatment. The frequency of screenings is based on your age, skin type, history, and other risk factors. We also recommend patients perform self-exams on a monthly basis to watch for any moles or spots that are changing.
Schedule routine skin screenings by a physician
Perform regular self-examinations
STEP 2: Practice Sun Safety
We recommend practicing protective behaviors on a daily basis. This means avoiding excessive sun exposure and wearing protective clothing, such as hats and sunglasses. Liberally apply sunscreen SPF 30 or higher containing zinc, titanium or avobenzone — and don’t forget to wear protective lip balm or lipstick. Retinoid (vitamin A) products such as Retin-A can also help curtail sun damage, with the beneficial effects of thickening skin and reducing fine wrinkles.
Avoid excessive sun exposure
Wear protective clothing
UVA/UVB sunblock SPF 30 or higher
STEP 3: Be Aware of High-Risk Factors
Your age, skin type, prior skin cancer and damage, family history, and other risk factors may put you at greater risk for developing sun damage and skin cancer. Discuss your unique skin type with your physician, and be mindful of these common risk factors:
Excess sun exposure
Tanning salon exposure
Blond or red hair color
Blue or green eyes
Exposure to radiation or chemicals
STEP 4: Understand Early Intervention Options
Potential pre-cancers, such as actinic keratoses, may be eliminated before they become skin cancers. Early intervention options are based on the growth’s characteristics and the patient’s age and health. Common treatments include:
Topical chemotherapy creams (i.e., Efudex and Carac)
Photodynamic therapy (blue light or red light treatments)
Chemical peels, dermabrasion, and laser resurfacing
Professional skin care
Dr. Tripp Parker's practice:
Skin Cancer Consultants
8230 Walnut Hill Lane
Building 3, Suite 808