Skin Cancer Awareness: Early Detection and Prevention Tips
Skin Cancer Awareness: Early Detection and Prevention Tips
April 17, 2024
Posted by admin

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in Singapore. Ultraviolet radiation, of which Singapore is not short of, is the main cause of skin cancer. Although the risk of skin cancer increases with age due to cumulative sun exposure, it is possible to develop skin cancer even in one’s 30s or 40s. Fortunately, skin cancer is preventable, and some skin cancers have a pre-cancerous stage which be more easily treated if diagnosed early. Experienced dermatologists in Singapore will have the expertise to help you diagnose and treat skin cancers before they become severe.

 

The Importance of Early Detection

Cancer is always more easily treated when detected at an early stage. Some skin cancers also go through a pre-cancerous stage before they become full-blown cancer. This pre-cancerous stage can last for a long time, giving one ample opportunity to have them picked up and treated. Pre-cancerous lesions can sometimes be treated with simple measures like cryotherapy (“freezing off” a growth) or topical creams.

If skin cancer develops, a skin cancer surgeon in Singapore will have the expertise to advise you of the treatment options. These may include surgery (such as Mohs micrographic surgery) and non-surgical treatment options (such as photodynamic therapy). The earlier skin cancer is detected, the more amenable they are to simple surgical treatment. Radiation therapy or chemotherapy are usually not required.

It is recommended that adults should undergo a complete skin examination once a year with their dermatologist. This is akin to having an annual health-screening or annual tune up in the workshop for one’s car. In between check-ups, patients may also perform self-assessment to pick up any suspicious growths earlier. A simple acronym to help one analyze a suspicious growth is the “ABCDE” rule:

A stands for Asymmetry

B stands for irregular Borders

C stands for mixture of Colours

D stands for Diameter ≥ 6mm and a growth that appears Different from others

E stands for Evolution

If one notices a growth or mole that fits one of the features above, it is better to show it to a doctor to determine if the growth is benign or not.

 

Prevention Tips to Protect Yourself from Skin Cancer

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of mutations in skin cells and skin cancers. While we cannot change the weather in Singapore, there are measures we can take to reduce the effects of sunlight on our skin:

1. Stay indoors during peak UV hours: The intensity of UV radiation is highest between 10am and 4pm.Try to limit outdoor activities during this period. When outdoors, try to stay in the shade. 

2. Always wear sunscreen: Wearing sunscreen is one of the best ways to protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. Be sure to apply a broad-spectrum screen with at least SPF 30 every day, even on cloudy or overcast days. If one is outdoors for prolonged periods, sunscreen should be re-applied every 2 hours. Remember that sunscreen should be applied to all exposed skin; some commonly neglected areas include the ears, neck, back of the hands and lower legs.

3. Wear protective clothing: Protective clothing is another good way to shield our skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. Long sleeved shirts and pants (especially if made of tightly woven material), broad-brimmed hats and umbrellas will help to filter out UV rays. Sunglasses also help to protect the skin around our eyes. 

4. Avoid sunburns and tanning beds: . Sunburn is a sign that UV has caused significant damage to the DNA of our skin cells, and that there are gaps in one’s sun protection measures. Artificial tanning using tanning beds also cause UV-induced damage to our skin and should be avoided completely.

5. Take care of your health in general: A lower immunity also increases the risk of cancers, including skin cancers. Key to boosting our immunity include a healthy diet, adequate rest and exercise, managing stress and avoiding tobacco products.

 

Conclusion

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in Singapore. It is preventable, and highly treatable if discovered early. Follow the prevention tips above to reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, and make sure you check your skin regularly to pick up any suspicious growths early.

If you are dealing with a diagnosis of skin cancer, rest assured that TSN Dermatology is here to guide you on the path to a successful recovery. Our team is comprised of a Mohs micrographic surgeon who is skilled and dedicated to eradicating skin cancer cells from your body. By employing cutting-edge techniques, we ensure the most effective and comprehensive cancer cell removal, significantly reducing the risk of disease recurrence.

For a more comprehensive understanding of our services and the personalized support we can offer you during this challenging time, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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