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You can beat it, but the battle starts with knowing you’re at risk, and what to do about it.
Don’t be defeated by denial.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the world today. It’s also easily prevented, and the most treatable if caught early. But, there is a common factor that prevents people protecting themselves against skin cancer, and seeking the early treatment they need: denial.
Overcoming denial means always being sunsafe, and acting fast on seeing the symptoms of skin cancer. This leaflet explains what you need to do to overcome denial and protect yourself.
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People are traveling in your offices, lounges, corridors, health club, shops, waiting rooms?
Your job will take you to see, touch or take care of the skin of your clients? Do not miss out of danger.
Preventing skin cancer
Skin cancer is one of the world’s most common cancers. The good news is that it is usually treatable if detected early - and there are things we can do to prevent it.
Always be sunsafe
Avoid unnecessary exposure.
Seek shade where possible, and avoid the summer sun during the middle of the day.
Wear protective clothing
Include dark colours, long sleeves, a widebrimmed hat and UV-rated sunglasses.
For children, look for clothing with inbuilt sun protection.
Check that yours has a high protection factor against both UVA and UVB rays. Remember that sunscreen takes effect around half an hour after its application and only lasts for two to three hours.
Children are at the greatest risk of long-term health issues related to unsafe sun exposure.
Outside play is important, but you should never let a child get sunburnt.
Check your skin once a month for spots that:
If you see two or more of these warning signs, don’t delay. Visit your doctor immediately.
This is the least common form of skin cancer, but also the most dangerous. It can affect people of any age, unlike other types that are more common among older people.
It presents as a spot that becomes darkly pigmented or develops irregular edges or different colours over time, or as a rapidly-growing pink or red lump. It can spread internally, so immediate treatment is required.
Basal cell carcinoma
This is the most common form of skin cancer, but also the least dangerous. It typically presents as an elevated skin-coloured lump with a shiny, pearl-like edge, a wound that does not heal, or a slightly crusty lump that grows slowly over time. If left untreated, it may ulcerate and invade deeper tissues.
Squamous cell carcinoma
This is the second most common form of skin cancer, occurring in areas of the skin that have had a lot of sun exposure, such as the face and scalp. It presents as a crusty lump which may grow quickly and become ulcerated and weepy. It can spread rapidly, especially if on the lips, ears, fingers and toes, or in immunosuppressed patients. Surgical treatment to remove the lesions is essential.
This occurs most commonly in middle-aged and elderly people, on areas most exposed to the sun such as the face, neck, ears, back of the hands and scalp. It presents as red-brown scaly and rough patches of skin. The lesions are pre-cancerous; in 10– 15% of cases they may develop into squamous cell carcinomas, so they should be treated to prevent progression.