Did you know that skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in this country? Every year, over 2 million people are diagnosed with a form of skin cancer in this country. That means that one in five Americans will develop a form of skin cancer in their lifetime. Below are some common questions from Phoenix residents about this kind of cancer.
With the summer approaching quickly here in Phoenix, there is a real need to talk about the risks of too much sun. Overexposure to sunrays have many people concerned about developing skin cancer, specifically melanoma. This type of cancer is less common but a more serious type of skin cancer. Melanoma is a malignant (or cancerous) tumor of melanocytes which produce dark pigment in the skin called melanin. If this form of cancer is not found in its early stages, the outlook for patients with melanoma is not good – nearly 75% of all deaths from skin cancer occur in melanoma patients.
Knowing when to go to your Phoenix doctor is important when it comes to coughs, rashes, sprains and strains, and fevers. But here in Arizona , it’s extremely important to know when to go to your doctor and dermatologist for skin conditions such as moles. Skin cancer is a big issue, and knowing when a mole is more than just a skin discoloration is crucial to protecting yourself against melanoma. Our dermatologist, Dr. Racette , got together with the team from Family Practice Specialists to put together a list of tips, helping you to know when to see your Phoenix doctor about that mole.
What is a Mole?
Simply speaking, moles are small pigmented cells on our skin that appear in clusters or singularly. They can change in appearance over the years as your body and the overall health of your skin changes, and in most cases are perfectly harmless.
The hottest days of the year are still ahead of us, and yet with these recent 90-degree temperatures, it’s time to truly start focusing on the health of your skin. Skin cancer in Arizona and melanoma in Phoenix is a serious and common condition, and the physicians at Family Practice Specialists need you to know how to protect your skin now. So, here are a few tips from our dermatologists and family physicians.
Cover Up – Here in Arizona, the sun is at it’s most powerful and most harmful between 10am and 4pm, so if you’re venturing outdoors during these hours be sure to cover up. Wear hats that cover your face, eyes and scalp. Wear tightly woven materials that absorb ultraviolet rays better than cotton materials. There are wonderful products out there that offer great protection for your skin, such as UV sunblock clothing and swimwear.
What is the largest organ in the body? You’ve probably heart that question before on some trivia show or during family game night, right? Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and here in Arizona it can become dry, sun burnt, rashy and itchy very easily. With so many sunny days each year, and so many hot days each year, Phoenix dermatologists like Dr. Racette see more than their fair share of patients who have seen more than their fair share of the sun throughout their lives. As we move into Spring here in Arizona and we begin to enjoy this beautiful weather, it’s important to think about the health of your skin.
Skin Cancer in Arizona
As far as skin cancer rates in Arizona , we rank surprisingly low in terms of comparisons to all U.S. states. We’re actually right down there with Alaska , New York and D.C. However, in terms of deaths from skin cancer we rank very, very high.