Skin Cancer Awareness Month
At Alaska CyberKnife, we’re proud to provide world-class cancer treatment services to Anchorage and the community of greater Alaska – but even with the advanced cancer treatment technology we have at our disposal, the best way to fight cancer is through the tried-and-true methods of awareness, education, and prevention. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, which presents a great opportunity to learn more about skin cancer and how to prevent it.
What Is Skin Cancer?
When we use the term skin cancer, we’re actually referring to three distinct types of cancer that all form in the skin. The two most common forms – basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma – form in the outermost layer of the skin, called the epidermis. Both of these forms usually present themselves as growths or lesions that look like open sores or warts. The third type of skin cancer is called melanoma, and it affects the skin cells responsible for producing pigmentation (melanocytes). While melanoma is the least common form of skin cancer, it’s also the most dangerous.
Causes of Skin Cancer
Skin cancer may be caused by anything ranging from exposure to carcinogenic chemicals to an autoimmune disease like HIV/AIDS, but the most common cause is accumulated exposure to harsh UV (ultraviolet) rays from sunlight. Over time, these UV rays do damage to the DNA in skin cells, and if enough genetic damage accumulates, the skin cells will mutate and form dangerous growths: cancerous tumors. While melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, any incidence of skin cancer can be life-threatening if not detected and treated soon enough.
How to Prevent Skin Cancer
Prevention is the best option you have for minimizing your risk of skin cancer and promoting your health throughout your life. To do this, you need to limit and protect yourself from exposure to the sun. This means wearing protective clothing to cover your skin and also applying high-SPF sunscreen anytime you expose your skin to the sun. Critically, it’s important not just to protect yourself during beach days: even short exposure during peak sun hours can cause serious damage over time, so it’s best to make wearing sunscreen a daily habit.
Contact Your Anchorage, AK Cancer Treatment Center
Cancer is one of the scariest conditions in medicine, but with preventative measures, regular screenings, and expert cancer treatment, you can protect yourself from skin cancer and other forms of cancer in the body. If you have any questions about skin cancer or want to learn more about how to protect yourself from developing cancer, the treatment team at Alaska CyberKnife would be thrilled to help. Feel free to call us at (907) 312-2112 with any questions, or if you’d like to find out how CyberKnife cancer treatment can help you or your loved ones overcome cancer, reach out to us at our contact page to schedule an appointment at our Anchorage, AK cancer treatment facility. We can’t wait to hear from you, and we hope you take Skin Cancer Awareness Month as a special opportunity to protect your skin and your body from developing cancer.