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Sima Medical & Cosmetic Clinic

(425) 398-2700

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Skin Cancer

Individuals with a history of melanoma should have a full-body exam by a board-certified dermatologist or dermatologic ARNP at least annually and perform regular self-exams for new and changing moles. Where skin cancer statistics are compiled, it has been shown that the skin is the most common type of skin cancer in the United States and many other countries. Skin cancer is more common in people with lightly pigmented skin; white people are more at risk. Those with fair or blonde hair, blue or green eyes, and those who burn easily are also more likely to get skin cancer. 

Melanoma is often caused by exposure to high levels of sunlight. A mole can become malignant (cancerous) often years after the skin has been burnt (often after sun bathing or using sun beds). One or more blistering sunburns during childhood or teenage years can cause skin cancer many years later. Whilst previous exposure to the sun and sun beds are established risk factors, melanoma and other skin cancers can still arise without overexposure to sun and light.

 

As published on KOMO News, the Washington Health Department says if the Puget Sound region were a state by itself, it would rank fourth in the nation in skin cancer rate. The department says that's mainly due to a misconception that the cloudy weather means people don’t have to protect themselves from the sun. The department says residents should protect themselves from ultraviolet light even on the region's many cloudy days. Sunburns in childhood are associated with melanoma later in life. That's one reason for a law that went into effect in Washington banning kids under 18 from using tanning beds.

The department says people can help prevent skin cancer by using sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher, by staying in the shade - especially during midday hours - and covering skin with clothing that covers your arms and legs or a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears and neck.

 

Schedule your dermatology full skin exam today- Come in to check your skin for a routine screening or to check out a specific lesion. Remember early detection is key.

 

What Skin Cancer Looks Like

Quick Facts

Since exposure to ultraviolet light is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, the American Academy of Dermatology encourages everyone to protect their skin by applying sunscreen, seeking shade and wearing protective clothing.

1.

Warning signs of melanoma include changes in size, shape, or color of a mole or other skin lesion, or the appearance of a new growth on the skin.

2.

Individuals with a history of melanoma should have a full-body exam by a board-certified dermatologist or dermatologic ARNP at least annually and perform regular self-exams for new and changing moles.

3.

Skin Cancer facts from Academy of Dermatology

  • More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than 2 million people are diagnosed in the United States annually.

  • Current estimates are that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

  • Melanoma incidence rates in Caucasians are 5 times higher than in Hispanics and 20 times higher than in African Americans.

  • Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.

  • Melanoma is increasing faster in females 15-29 years old than males in the same age group.

  • On average, one American dies from melanoma every hour. 

 

Risk Factors

  • The major risk factor for melanoma of the skin is exposure to ultraviolet light.

  • New research has found that daily sunscreen use cuts the incidence of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, in half.

  • Increasing intermittent sun exposure in childhood and during one’s lifetime is associated with an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

  • Exposure to tanning beds increases the risk of melanoma, especially in women aged 45 years or younger.

  • In females 15-29 years old, the torso/trunk is the most common location for developing melanoma, which may be due to high-risk tanning behaviors.

  • People with more than 50 moles, atypical moles, light skin, freckles, or a family history of melanoma are at an increased risk of developing melanoma.

 

Prevention & Detection

  • Since exposure to ultraviolet light is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, the American Academy of Dermatology encourages everyone to protect their skin by applying sunscreen, seeking shade and wearing protective clothing.

  • Warning signs of melanoma include changes in size, shape, or color of a mole or other skin lesion, or the appearance of a new growth on the skin.

  • Individuals with a history of melanoma should have a full-body exam by a board-certified dermatologist or dermatologic ARNP at least annually and perform regular self-exams for new and changing moles.

 

New Senate Bill on use of tanning devices by minors

Senate Bill 6065 that passed and signed into effect on March 28, 2014 includes:

 

NEW SECTION. Sec. 2.

  1. Persons under eighteen years of age are prohibited from using an ultraviolet tanning device without a written prescription for ultraviolet radiation treatment from a physician licensed under chapter 18.57 or 18.71 RCW.

  2. Proof of age must be satisfied with a driver's license or other government-issued identification containing the date of birth and a photograph of the individual.

 

 NEW SECTION. Sec. 3.

  • The owner of a tanning facility that violates this chapter is liable for a civil penalty established by law.

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