This Morning: Jon Courtenay recalls skin cancer diagnosis
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Dr Friedmann’s factors include:
• Having a fair skin and a history of burning easily in the sun
• Excess sun exposure – having lived or worked in the sun, particularly in hot countries.
• A family history malignant melanoma
• Having a lot of moles
• Problems with the immune system or taking immune-suppressing medications.
Alongside these factors Dr Friedmann says it’s important “to recognise what you and your family members skin types are. Skin varies in its ability to tan. The more naturally dark one’s skin, the more protected one is from skin cancer”.
As well as identifying risk factors for skin cancer, Friedmann also suggests the best ways for people to reduce their risk.
One of the most potent is applying sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) to protect against the sun’s UV rays.
Friedmann says: “The higher the SPF the stronger the protection against the burning UVB rays.
“However, UVA protection is just as important, as UVA rays have more long-term damaging effects on the skin such as premature aging and skin cancer.”
It is for this reason Friedmann suggests choosing a lotion with “at least [a] 4-star UVA rating”.
However, for some people the damage has already in part been done; if a person’s skin is in a damaged state, it is suggested they seek professional advice.
For those who have no damage, such as children, ceftin zinacef generic name Friedmann says: “It’s particularly important babies and children stay safe in the sun as skin damage from UV light that occurs in childhood usually won’t show up until many years later.
“Wearing a high factor SPF 50 sunscreen is imperative and babies and children with fairer skin should cover up their exposed skin when in direct sunlight.”
Subsequently, if action is taken early enough, a person’s risk of skin cancer will be dramatically reduced.
However, skin cancer can still develop.
As a result, it is crucial to look out for changes in the skin so medical advice can be sought.
Friedmann explains the difference between the two types of skin cancer, melanoma and non-melanoma: “Non-melanoma skin cancers are generally slow to develop or spread, while melanoma can be much more aggressive.”
Before a melanoma appears the skin can begin to show warning signs such as redness and flaking.
Dr Friedmann suggests people check their skin “regularly” so they can “spot any changes in size, shape, or colour early”.
The sooner the cancer is spotted the earlier it can be treated or removed.
Although the development of any cancer is terrifying, skin cancer has a very high survival rate compared to other forms of the disease.
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