Skin Cancer Awareness Month

April 24, 2015 | By | General, Events/promotions, General, Men's Health | Share
Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is right around the corner and it is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. At NaturoMedica, May not only brings in flowers, but will bring the dermatologist for free skin cancer checks. Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Most cases are preventable. Skin cancer is diagnosed at a rate of 1 in 5 Americans each year. Studies show that the number of Americans believed to have had skin cancer in the past three decades exceeds the totals for all other cancers combined with an annual cost estimated around $8.5 billion. There are many different types of skin cancer including melanoma, basal cell and squamous cell. Basal and squamous cell cancers are the most common. Treatment is often effective with an approximate cure rate of 95 percent. However, melanoma ranks number one for cancer caused deaths. It is the number one cancer in adolescents and young adults. When melanoma is detected early, treatment can increase the survival rate. Regular self- administered skin exams (head to toe) and visits to a dermatologist can help with early detection.

Your skin protects your body from heat, infection, and injury. It controls body heat and helps store water and fat. Also, it manufactres vitamin D. There are several risk factors for skin cancer, but the main risk factor is UV radiation. Risk factors for skin cancer may include the following:

  • Blistering sunburns
    • Especially earlier in life
    • Burning before you tan
  • Sun exposure
    • If you spend a lot of time outdoors for pleasure or play
    • If you live or vacation in tropical or subtropical climates, including areas with year-round sun
    • High altitude climates – UV radiation increases 4-5% with every 1,000 feet above sea level
  • Indoor tanning
  • Coloring
    • Fair skin
    • Lighter color hair – blonde, light brown or red
    • Freckles
    • Blue or green eyes
  • Moles
    • Large number or unusual types of moles
  • Precancerous skin lesions
  • Older age
  • Men
    • Men are three times as likely to develop basal cell cancer than women and are twice as likely to develop squamous cell cancer
  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Personal history of skin cancer
  • Medications
    • Tetracycline, sulfa drugs and some other antibiotics, phenothiazines (sedatives and anti-nausea drugs), tricyclic antidepressants and others

In honor of Skin Cancer Awareness Month, NaturoMedica will be offering 20% off, on all of our Naturopathica skin care products from now through the end of May. This includes the new Lavender Protecting Cream SPF 30 with UVA/UVB protection. It is recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology that everyone apply a sunscreen with a minimum broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) of SPF30 or higher and an SPF50 before participating in outdoor activities. It is important for everyone, regardless of skin tone, to incorporate sun protective measures in their life. Ways to reduce your risk for skin cancer may include the following:

  • Use Broad Spectrum (UVA/UVB) Sunscreen
    • Use sunscreen and lip balm with a SPF 30 or higher
    • Reapply sunscreen (water resistant) and lip balm every 2 hours or immediately after swimming, towel drying, or excessive sweating
    • Be sure to apply sunscreen even on overcast and hazy days
    • My favorite choice for natural broad spectrum UV protection include the following:
      • Lavendar Protective Cream SPF 30: A hydrating cream with micronized zinc oxide to help guard the skin from UVA/UVB damage. Lavender calms irritated skin and soothes the senses while macadamia seed oil conditions the skin. The cream contains Red algae extract derived from an organism that lives in shallow water where it produces some of the most powerful UV-absorbing substances in nature.
  • Avoid the sun
    • Try to avoid the sun during the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Follow the “shadow rule” – if your shadow is shorter than you, UV radiation exposure is stronger and if your shadow is longer than you, UV radiation is less intense
  • Cover up:
    • Wear a shirt and/or hat when outdoors. Cover the areas of skin with sunscreen that are not covered by clothing or a hat.
    • Be sure to wear clothing that is tightly woven that you cannot see through when holding up to the sun
    • Wear sunglasses that have 99% to 100% UV protection to protect your eyes and surrounding skin
  • Do not Burn:
    • Risk for melanoma doubles if you have been burned 5 or more times at any time in your life
  • Avoid indoor tanning
    • Tanning beds and sunlamps
    • Those who make just four visits to a tanning salon per year can increase their risk for melanoma by 11 percent, and their risk for the two most common forms of skin cancer, basal cell and squamous cell cancers, by 15 percent
  • Keep newborns out of the sun
    • Babies can wear sunscreen over 6 months but their skin is still very sensitive to UV radiation and should always be protected by shade and clothing
    • One severe sunburn in childhood doubles the chances of developing melanoma later in life

Be sure to perform monthly self-skin exams from head to toe. While self-exams shouldn’t replace the important annual skin exam performed by a physician, they offer the best chance of detecting the early warning signs of skin cancer. If you notice any change in an existing mole or discover a new one that looks suspicious, see a physician immediately. At NaturoMedica, we are pleased to announce dermatologist, Dr. Suseela Narra will be present on Wednesday, May 20th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to provide free skin cancer checks. Dr. Narra is a Board Certified Dermatologist who has been practicing since 2000. She is currently on staff at Overlake and Swedish Hospitals. Skin cancer checks from a dermatologist include an examination from head to toe and do not require blood work. Your skin cancer check will last approximately 10 minutes and we ask that you arrive 10 minutes prior to your visit to complete paperwork. A full body screening will be completed in our private exam rooms at NaturoMedica. Please contact NaturoMedica at 425.557.8900 to set up an appointment for your skin cancer check with Dr. Narra.

"I felt a lot better after three months of going to NaturoMedica. It was like fine-tuning. Progressively, I felt better and better. I feel like a different person! My NaturoMedica doctor is now my primary doctor."
Beth Murphy - Sammamish, WA - View More