Yes it’s true, skin cancer is the most common form of skin cancer and on the positive side, which I’m always living in, unlike most cancers, you can actually SEE it AND when detected early there is a 99% survival rate! This is all great news!!
Additionally, on the great news side, we know that skin cancer is mostly caused by UV radiation, often from the sun which you can protect yourself from:
1) You can refrain from being in the sun during peak UV hours (10am -2pm)
2) Use SPF
3) Wear UPF clothing, which of course includes a SóL Visor. SóL Visors are certified UPF 50+ which means you’re blocked from 98+% of UV transmittents without having to “reapply” every two-hours and without getting toxins found in many sunscreens into your bloodstream.
PLEASE NOTE: I still lather on healthy zinc SPF 30 on my face and body in conjunction with my SóL Visor. More protection the better…to be honest on days that are UV 7 or above it's still best to stay out of the sun midday! Not sure if you should stay out of the sun? The best way to know if the UV rays are high on the index is to look at your shadow, if your shadow is shorter than you, be afraid...no don't be in fear but do seek shade, go inside, and avoid the sun if possible.
I always like to multi-task and turn everything I do into a pleasurable experience so I've created this into monthly ritual. Check out the easy direction and how to perform a self-love skin cancer exam and love yourself 2.
How to perform a self-exam according to SkinCancer.org
1. Examine your face
Especially your nose, lips, mouth and ears — front and back. Use one or both mirrors to get a clear view.
2. Inspect your scalp
Thoroughly inspect your scalp, using a blow-dryer and mirror to expose each section to view. Get a friend or family member to help, if you can.
3. Check your hands
Palms and backs, between the fingers and under the fingernails. Continue up the wrists to examine both the front and back of your forearms.
4. Scan your arms
Standing in front of the full-length mirror, begin at the elbows and scan all sides of your upper arms. Don’t forget the underarms.
5. Inspect your torso
Next, focus on the neck, chest and torso. Lift the breasts to view the undersides.
6. Scan your upper back
With your back to the full-length mirror, use the hand mirror to inspect the back of your neck, shoulders, upper back and any part of the back of your upper arms you could not view in step 4.
7. Scan your lower back
Still using both mirrors, scan your lower back, buttocks and backs of both legs.
8. Inspect your legs
Sit down; prop each leg in turn on the other stool or chair. Use the hand mirror to examine the genitals. Check the front and sides of both legs, thigh to shin. Then, finish with ankles and feet, including soles, toes and nails (without polish).
What you're looking for:
Because skin cancers appear in many shapes and sizes, it’s important to know the warning signs associated with basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), melanoma, Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) and the precancer actinic keratosis (AK).
If you see something NEW, CHANGING or UNUSUAL, get checked by a dermatologist right away. It could be skin cancer. This includes:
- A growth that increases in size and appears pearly, transparent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored.
- A mole, birthmark or brown spot that increases in size, thickness, changes color or texture, or is bigger than a pencil eraser. Learn the ABCDEs of melanoma.
- A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab or bleed.
- An open sore that does not heal within three weeks.
Learn more about early detection at TheBigSee.org.
Cover photo taken by Caroline Veronez