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Skin Cancer As You Age- Before, During and After Diagnosis

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“The reality of the situation, however, is that you’ve probably already done untold damage to your skin without realizing it, even if you’ve taken steps to protect yourself from UV rays.”

I’m the person referred to below when the doctor says “One blistering sunburn as a child doubles your rate of melanoma (skin cancer) later in life...”  Not only was I sunburned to the point of skin blisters a couple of times as a kid, I underwent an autologous stem cell transplant in 1995 increasing my risk of skin cancer further.

While I agree with the article below when it states that UV radiation is cumulative, I don’t agree that “You can’t reverse the damage...” My experience as a long-term cancer survivor is that a person can either reverse UV damage or at the least, reduce the risks of skin cancer.

Why do I think so? Because of my experience over the past twenty years coupled with studies shown to reduce the risk of both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer.

Have you been diagnosed with Basal Cell, Squamous Cell or Melanoma Skin Cancer? What stage? Please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

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High Risk for Skin Cancer?


Skin protection pays off as you age

“Dermatologists constantly stress the need to protect skin from exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which puts the body at risk for developing skin cancer.  While the importance of wearing sunscreen may be common knowledge, millions of people continue to skimp out on protecting their largest organ from sun damage.

One thing is very clear when it comes to sun exposure: Your actions have a lasting impact on your body. Taking preventative measures against skin cancer can help ensure good health in your later years and increase your odds of longevity.

The reality of the situation, however, is that you’ve probably already done untold damage to your skin without realizing it, even if you’ve taken steps to protect yourself from UV rays. Most skin cancer cases are caused from sun exposure during childhood years because kids tend to spend more time in the sun and are more susceptible to sunburns.

“One blistering sunburn as a child doubles your rate of melanoma later in life,” said Dr. David Agus, a CBS News medical contributor and the director of USC Norris Westside Cancer Center. “Many of us were exposed as a child. Many of us got sunburns. We have to be aware of it.”

That damage may already be done to your skin, but it’s never too late to think about making better choices. Now is the time to start taking preventative measures against skin cancer.

Skin cancer prevention and early detection

Skin cancer has become the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States. In fact, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.  

There are three main types of skin cancer. Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are most commonly diagnosed, and they typically appear on your head or neck. Melanomas are not as common, but they can be deadly if left untreated.

“Skin cancer is one of those cancers that if you catch early, you just cut it out and it’s over,” Agus said. “(If) you miss it or you wait a while, bad things can happen.”  

Research shows that most skin cancers are caused by over-exposure to UV rays from the sun and/or use of indoor tanning beds.

Is it skin cancer?

…Overall, it’s important to regularly see a dermatologist for annual checks, especially if cancer runs in your family. You should also keep an eye out for any abnormal moles or changes in your skin.

“You can’t reverse the damage, but you can prevent more damage,” Agus said. “I think that’s critical.”

Early detection of skin cancer is key to receiving an effective treatment plan. It’s the key to survival.

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