Skin cancer is a serious condition that affects many people today. Unfortunately, skin cancer can be deadly if not diagnosed and treated properly. While it may be surprising to learn, more people will be diagnosed with skin cancer than all other forms of cancer combined. Therefore, proper understanding is essential. This guide will help you understand the truth behind a few common skin cancer myths.
Myth: There Is No Risk Unless You Stay Outside in the Sun
You may think you are not at risk for skin cancer because you do not spend much time in the sun. In reality, even short bits of time in the sun can add up and increase your risk of skin cancer. You may not spend hours sunbathing at the pool or on the beach, but if you leave your sunroof open while driving, walk your dog during the day, or take your kids to the park, your skin is being exposed to the sun's harmful UV rays.
Even if you do not plan to be outdoors for long, be sure to protect your skin. Always apply sunscreen—no matter how long you plan to be outdoors.
Myth: There Is No Risk If You Have Dark Skin
Another common myth people believe is that you are not at risk of skin cancer if you have darker skin. It is true that dark-skinned individuals have a lower risk of developing skin cancer compared to fair or light-skinned individuals. However, there is still a chance of developing skin cancer no matter what color or shade your skin is.
If you have darker skin, still be sure to protect your skin with hats, sunglasses, and proper sunscreen application. When it comes to darker skin, detecting the early stages of skin cancer can be more challenging. Therefore, individuals with darker skin should be regularly inspecting their skin for early signs to ensure proper diagnosis and efficient treatment.
Myth: Chemotherapy Is the Only Treatment
When most people think of cancer, they immediately think of chemotherapy. Although a popular treatment for many cancers, chemotherapy is not the only treatment available if you have been diagnosed with skin cancer. As a matter of fact, chemo is only recommended if you have a more severe form of skin cancer that has spread to different areas of the body.
Today, there are many treatment options including Mohs surgery. This procedure involves removing and testing thin layers of skin until the layer shows no sign of cancer. If you have been diagnosed with skin cancer, talk to your doctor about this effective surgery.