Get Serious With Skin Cancer This Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that around 9,500 new cancer cases are diagnosed in the United States every day? Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer and is more common among females aged below 50. On the contrary, men are more likely to develop it post 50.

If we take a broader view, around 2 to 3 million people suffer from non-melanoma cancer globally. The deadly skin condition has increased by 31 percent in the last decade, which is quite alarming. With skin cancer rising at such a fast rate, we need to start taking measures from today to prevent it as much as possible.

Each year, every country around the globe takes part in celebrating skin cancer awareness month to spread awareness of the disease worldwide.

In honor of this month, we have also penned down a detailed blog to educate you on skincare and provide you with reasons why it’s essential for us.

10 Interesting facts about skin cancer

  • Skin cancer is un racist – anyone can get it regardless of their skin tone.
  • UV rays are the root cause of skin cancer – they damage our skin cells’ DNA.
  • Seeking shadow from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm can reduce the chances of skin cancer – UV rays are strongest between those hours.
  • Reapplying sunscreen after every two hours helps prevent both UVA and UVB rays – use sunscreen with at least 30 SPF.
  • UVB rays can penetrate light-colored shades – choose your shades carefully.
  • Intense athletic exercise can increase the chances of skin cancer – it weakens your immune system.
  • Use tanning sprays rather than tanning beds along with sunscreen – tanning beds have proven to increase the risk of skin cancer.
  • The face is the most common area for developing skin cancer – it is most exposed to the sun.
  • Beware of the warning signs – consult a doctor if you notice moles development or new growth on your skin. (More on this below)
  • Some medications cause sun sensitivity as a side effect – Naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin) and Aspirin are the common ones.
Interesting facts about skin cancer

What causes Skin Cancer?

The primary reason for skin cancer is the extreme exposure to sunlight, resulting in sun poisoning or blistering. When your skin is exposed to the sun without sunscreen, the UV rays damage your skin cells and prompt abnormal cell growth. These cells then rapidly multiply and form a mass of cancer cells.

Apart from sun exposure, certain chemicals like coal or tar play a major role in developing abnormal cell growth.

What are the types of Skin Cancer?

Generally, health professionals have categorized skin cancer as:

Nonmelanoma skin cancer: This type of skin cancer develops in squamous and basal cells (that form the external layer of our skin). They make the most common types of skin cancer.

Melanoma skin cancer: This type of skin cancer is rare compared to Nonmelanoma skin cancer. However, it is more deadly as it spreads faster and requires immediate treatment.

What are the symptoms of skin cancer?

The usual hosts for skin cancer on your body are the parts that are most exposed to the sun. They can be your face (the most), your hands, ears, neck, etc. While these are the parts that are most affected by skin cancer in both genders, women need to be extra conscious with their legs, as they are the common victim of skin cancer in them.

Getting exposed to the sun isn’t a crucial factor for skin cancer to affect you, it only has higher possibilities. There have been cases where people with no or minimum sun exposure develop cancer. The same goes for the parts where it forms, most-exposed parts have higher chances, while those unexposed have lower, they are not immune to skin cancer.

Skin color is a firm factor but doesn’t necessarily protect you from the deadly disease; instead, lowers the chances. People with fair complexion form skin cancer earlier than those having a dark complexion.  Here are the symptoms or warning signs alarming you about the time for treatment.

Symptoms of Melanoma Skin Cancer

Unlike Nonmelanoma skin cancer, melanoma skin cancer doesn’t have any types, and also doesn’t cater to specific skin color. It also doesn’t necessitate the exposure to sunlight, which means it could form anywhere on the body, the major causes of skin cancer considered.

In women, melanoma skin cancer forms on the lower legs, and among men, it mostly targets their face and trunk. There is no condition that it will only form when you spot a new mole on your body, might it be that the existing mole on your body may convert into melanoma skin cancer.

The symptoms of melanoma skin cancer are as follows:

  • A brownish spot, representing dead or cancer cells on your skin.
  • A newly bumped mole or an old mole that is changing color, bleeding, or getting bigger.
  • An itchy or painful lesion on your skin.
  • Dark-colored lesions on your anus or vagina or fingertips, soles, and palms.

Symptoms of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer

Nonmelanoma skin cancer further expands to two more types including squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Both the types have a different set of symptoms, here is how you can recognize each of them.

the types of Skin Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) Symptoms

This type of skin cancer usually forms on those parts of your body that are most exposed to the sunlight. Unless you have darker skin, you won’t develop this type of skin cancer on those parts of your body that don’t get exposed to the sun.

The immediate symptoms of SCC skin cancer are:

  • Flat crusted-surfaced lesion on the skin.
  • A hard nodule (growth of abnormal tissue) on the skin.

These are the most common symptoms of SCC skin cancer; you may want to visit your dermatologist if you find anything worth your consideration on the skin.

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) Symptoms

Unlike SCC, where there was a possible condition of skin color, this type of skin cancer develops only on the parts that are exposed to the sunlight.

You can recognize BCC skin cancer with the following symptoms:

  • A pearly bump on the skin, often waxy.
  • A lesion that looks like a fresh-blooded scar.
  • Repeatedly appearing and healing sore on the skin.

What factors could encourage skin cancer?

Apart from the causes defined in this guide, there are a few risk factors that may prompt or encourage the formation of skin cancer in your body. They are the most we have gathered, there may be more, as described by your dermatologist.

These risk factors don’t guarantee that you would have skin cancer, but that you care more for your skin if you have any of these.

  • Fair complexion: If you have a lighter skin tone, your chances of getting sunburns are ultimately higher, and so would the chances of forming skin cancer.
  • Moles on your skin: Moles generally represent abnormal growth of cells, or you could say they happen due to the abnormal growth of cells. However, if your body hosts excessive numbers of them, it will be more prone to developing skin cancer. You should get it treated.
  • Your place of living: Living in low-altitude or shadowy places is safer than living in opposite places. The high-altitude areas are more exposed to the sunlight and ultimately shed the same amount on you, which increases your risk of getting nonmelanoma skin cancer type.
  • Weak immune system: While it may not look that much relevant to be counted among the risk factors, it is one of the most sensitive ways you could host skin cancer in your body. It is because the UV rays affect those with weak immune systems faster than those with stronger ones, you may want to take necessary precautions if you have one.
  • Ancestral inheritance: If someone in your family has had a history of skin cancer, there are chances you may develop it in your body. Not to panic, it can still be treated. You should embrace the following changes in your routine, and even if you have developed one, you can reverse it.

Ways to lower the risk of skin cancer

What factors could encourage skin cancer

Whether you are taking precautions for the disease, or you have developed it in your body, one thing is for sure, you can reverse it if you embrace and follow the following changes in your day-to-day routine strictly.

  • Cover your body: At times, you get comfortable in shorts with sleeveless tees and enjoy the warmth of the sun outside the house. There is nothing wrong with it, but nothing is right either. You are welcoming the UV rays to burn your skin and promote the development of skin cancer. Therefore, you should wear UV-protected clothing, which will be better recommended by a dermatologist, wear a cap on your head that’s generously broad, and use sunglasses whenever possible.
  • Don’t step into the sun, unless necessary: That’s quite obvious. You must not step into the sunlight unless it is unavoidable, for it will only work as a supplement, and will even expand your chances of developing skin cancer or making it more severe.
  • Use sunscreen: It is not like sunscreen doesn’t work, it surely does. You just have to pick the right brand that sells the most effective of them. Apply it to your face, hands, and all the parts of your body that are exposed to direct sunlight, as it will help you reverse and prevent the deadly disease sooner than ever.
  • Check yourself regularly: Sit in front of the mirror, monitor the changes in moles, and the appearance of new moles, or watch out for any symptoms that could give you a sign of skin cancer, and note them down to report them to your dermatologist.


Skin cancer is preventable and can also be treated. However, it doesn’t mean that you take it for granted and conduct yourself with every possible risk factor that encourages its formation in your body. Instead, you need to be very conscious of everything that happens to your body, and upon finding it threatening, pay a visit to your doctor, as being conscious and seeing your doctor are the only ways to live a healthy and prospering life.