Believe it or not, skin cancer is a common ailment affecting Floridians in St. Augustine and throughout the rest of the state. According to research conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 19 out of every 100,000 Floridians contracted some form of skin cancer in 2007, and that rate is on the rise.
But that doesn’t mean we should be afraid of enjoying the beloved rays our sun washes over our Florida outdoors – it just means we need to better equip ourselves with protection, knowledge, and the resources should this terrible disease befall you or someone you love.
Know the basics of skin cancer treatment
Skin cancer comes in many forms, shapes, colors, and sizes. If you notice a suspicious mark, mole, coloration, bump, horn, or any other growth on your skin, whether it could have been in direct sunlight or not, you’ll want to get it checked out by licensed, board-certified dermatologist.
You’ll want to consult with the best in skin cancer diagnosis and treatment. If you live in or around the St. Augustine area, contact Dr. Kalpana DePasquale, DO, of St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat by calling (904) 461-6060 or by going online to learn more about her practice.
As with many other common diseases and ailments, the earlier we can diagnose skin cancer, the easier it will be to treat. Most common skin cancers are easy to detect, treat and cure, as long as you catch it early.
Perhaps the most worrisome trait of any type of skin cancer is its ability to effectively disguise itself from unwitting victims. So take some time to understand and recognize the signs and symptoms of any type of skin cancer.
WebMD.com has a fantastic slideshow featuring pictures and descriptions of the most common forms of skin cancer. It’s a great tool to use if you’re curious about a new growth developing on your skin, but no website should ever be used as an alternative or replacement for a visit to a qualified and competent dermatologist.
Preventing skin cancer before or after treatment
You’ve heard it all before, we know: wear a high-rated sunscreen, stay out of direct sunlight. But let’s be realistic – people come from all over the world to enjoy the St. Augustine beaches and Florida sun.
So while sunblock is always important, did you know that you could actually have a genetic predisposition for skin cancer? It pays to be aware of the many other causes of skin cancer besides direct sunlight exposure.
Some other common factors that contribute to the contraction of any type of skin care include:
- Cigarette smoking
- Regular sunburns
- Injured or chronically burned skin
- Moled, freckled, or light skin
- Continuous and frequent exposure to tanning beds for long durations of time
- Blonde or red haired persons
- Persons with blue, green, or otherwise light eyes
- Genetic predisposition
Some tips to limit your exposure to cancer-causing UV rays:
- Use a high-rated sunblock that protects against both UVA and UVB rays
- Avoid sunning during the hottest time of Florida’s days – between 10 AM and 2 PM
- Wear sunglasses outside
- Avoid artificial suntan booths
So enjoy the sun, especially around this time of year; but always protect yourself, be aware of the common symptoms of skin cancer, and if you’re in the St. Augustine area and you’re concerned about a recent or anomalous skin growth, contact Dr. DePasquale at (904) 461-6060, or go online to schedule an appointment immediately.