Shine the light on the scary monster: skin cancer!

World Cancer Day inspired us to shine the light on Skin cancer

Shine a light on skin cancer.

World Cancer Day inspired us to shine the light on Skin cancer.

Skin cancer is like the scary monster in the dark for many of us. We don’t quite know what it looks like, who it targets, or how it attacks. For this reason, we also don’t know how to protect ourselves. The key to understanding how to protect ourselves is to first bring the monster out of the dark.

In this article, we aim to unveil the monster of skin cancer, educate you on how to protect yourself and equip you with the right weapons.

What is skin cancer?

First off, what is skin cancer?
Our skin and bodies are made up of trillions of cells  that divide and multiply all the time. When normal and healthy, this cell division allows our bodies, amongst other things, to grow and repair from injuries. Sometimes, when these cells become damaged, they no longer divide as they should – they begin to divide uncontrollably. This abnormal cell division results in cancer . When this happens in the skin, the result is skin cancer.

What are the different types of skin cancer?

There are three main types of skin cancer, namely:
basal cell carcinoma (BCC),
squamous cell carcinoma (SCC),
and melanoma.

This informative illustration is from https://www.everydayhealth.com/skin-cancer/guide/treatment/

These are all very big names. Put more simply, the different types of skin cancers are named after the cell type within the skin that is being affected (2).

Overall, BCC accounts for 80% of skin cancers, whilst SCC for 16%, and melanoma for 4% (3).

What causes skin cancer?

Certain factors make one more susceptible to developing cancer. Those with fair skin, blonde or red hair, or blue or green eyes tend to be more vulnerable.

However, these factors do not necessarily cause skin cancer. Factors that do cause skin cancer can be grouped into two categories: host factors and environmental factors (3).

Host Factors
Environmental factors

Host factors include genetics and immuno-suppression. Unfortunately, these are not factors that can be easily controlled.

Environmental factors, on the other hand, are slightly more within our reach of control. They include sun and chemical exposure . According to MI, Qadir, sun exposure remains to be the leading cause of skin cancers 

Makarios Wellness gives the best advice
What steps can I take to prevent cancer?

The best advice we can give is to use sunscreen in your day-to-day life. Sun exposure is a factor that plays a significant role in the uprising of skin cancers, and sunscreen is our best weapon against it because it protects the skin from potentially cell-damaging UV rays from the sun. Not only does sun protection prevent cancer, but it also has the added benefit of reducing early signs of ageing and pigmentation, aka brown spots.

What does SPF mean?

When searching for sunscreen, you will encounter the term ‘SPF’. What does this term mean? SPF stands for sun protection factor.

The SPF of sunscreen is determined by how many times it can prolong one’s ability to stay in direct sunlight without getting burnt.

For example, it takes Sarah 5 minutes to burn in direct sunlight without sunscreen. When she applies an SPF of 10, she will be able to spend 50 minutes in direct sunlight without burning.

This also means that the lesser the SPF, the more frequently you should apply your sunscreen. We recommend using an SPF of 30 and above to ensure thorough protection.

Our favourite sunscreen choices are Matis’ City-mood + for the face and Matis’ Sun Protection Milk SPF20 for the body.

Buy Here
Buy Here

You can start implementing the use of sunscreen for yourself and your children from the time they are born – it is never too early to start protecting yourself.

If you have not been applying sunscreen from an early age, get the sunscreen! It is never too late to start using sunscreen, either, because you prevent further damage from occurring.

Frequently asked qeustions.
"Should I even wear my sunscreen indoors?"

One question we get asked frequently is, “should I even wear my sunscreen indoors?”. YES, you should. The sun’s UV rays can still pass through windows and can cause the same harm as being outdoors.

 

"When should I see a dermatologist?"

Skin cancer can be hard to identify. The most important thing is to keep an eye on your beauty spots, freckles and moles. Self-check them regularly and get to know how they look so that if there are ever any changes, you will pick them up quickly. Early detection can be a life-saver.

It is recommended to see a dermatologist once a year for a skin examination (5). Still, if you notice any of the ABCDE changes before then, you should go to see your doctor or dermatologist as soon as possible to rule out anything suspicious.

The ABCDE’s is an easy way to remember what the early warning signs are to look out for.

This image is from https://blog.smartpractice.com/spread-skin-cancer-awareness-through-social-media/

A-Asymmetry: if when you draw a line through the mole, the sides do not match, this is a warning sign for melanoma.

B-Border: The borders will not be even.

C-Colour: Different shades of brown or black in the same lesion can also be a warning sign.

D-Diameter: The size of the lesion will be larger than 6mm.

E-Evolving: any change in size, shape, colour, elevation, crusting, bleeding, or itching is a warning sign 

If You want to know more you can read this interesting article:

Read More

Scary Monster is BUSTED!

We all know how kids are super afraid of the scary monster until we switch on the light! Through this article, we shone the light on skin cancer

Digging our heads in the ground will not remove skin cancer from the world, but now that we know what to look for and prevent it, we can do our part.

We understand cancer is a heartbreaking issue for many people. There is a term going around: Compassion fatigue. It became more relevant during the 2020 Covid 19 pandemic, but this has been happening way beyond that. 

We have heard of so many people getting cancer, and we are immune to its seriousness. 

This is the reason why there is a day like World Cancer Day.

To remember. We remember those who are suffering and those lost. We pray for those left behind, and we are there for those who need help.

Stay Safe. Cover yourself when you are in the sun, and BUY a sunblock!

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