7 TIPS TO REDUCE THE RISK OF SKIN CANCER


When we think about the topic of cancer, we would usually associate the word to the more commonly feared ones, such as lung cancer or stomach cancer. But did you know that skin cancer is one of the top ten cancer affecting both men and women’s health in Singapore? According to healthxchange, skin cancer is ranked at number 7 and number 8 for males and females respectively. 

But what exactly is cancer?

All the cells in our body have a function to keep the body working. When these cells are old or damaged, they die and new cells take their place. Cancer is when the abnormal cells in the body start to divide uncontrollably when they are supposed to die out. This crowds the normal cells and stops them from functioning, making it hard for that part of the body where the abnormal cells are at to function normally. 

Skin Cancer Symptoms 

Skin cancer usually grow at a slow pace and most commonly develops in areas that are constantly exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck, arms and legs.  

    • Changes to existing mole whether it’s in shape or size
    • Black or brown patches that have irregular borders
    • Scaly red nodule
    • Nodule with tiny blood vessels 

How To Prevent Skin Cancer

    • Avoid the sun when possible

      While most of us head out early in the morning around 8am and only leave the office after 5pm, some of our jobs require us to be out and about during the afternoon. If you are out under the sun, seek shade when possible during the hottest time of the day from 10am to 4pm.

    • Long clothings

      Another way to protect yourself is by wearing long-sleeved shirts or long skirts and pants. This protect your skin from being exposed to the harmful rays of the sun. 

    • Cap or large hat

      If you know you’re going to be out during the hottest part of the day, be sure to wear a hat or a large-brimmed hat to protect some shade for your face especially if you are going to be on the beach or hiking. 

    • Carry an umbrella

      Having an umbrella wherever you go is the easiest way to protect yourself and lower your risk of skin cancer. When choosing an umbrella, look for those with a UV filter to block out the sun’s ray.

    • Slather on some sunscreen

      Don’t be too happy if you apply sunscreen before you head out of the house – it needs to be reapplied throughout the day depending on the UV protection of your sunscreen! A common mistake most people made is just applying it once and they think that’s enough. 

    • Wear sunglasses

      Other than your skin, make sure to protect your eyes too with sunglasses. If you wear spectacles, get those lenses which are able to dim out the brightness automatically when you are in the sun to give your eyes some protection. 

    • Examine yourself daily

      Whenever you shower, take the opportunity to also inspect every part of your body as you wash. Keeping a lookout for any abnormal growth and detecting them early on is one of the most effective ways to detect skin cancer in its early stage and seek treatment before it worsens.