– Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, affecting more than 3 million people in the U.S. alone. As summer nears and more time is spent outdoors, HSHS St. Vincent, St. Mary’s, St. Nicholas and St. Clare Memorial hospitals are providing important information about how to detect and prevent skin cancer.
Three Forms of Skin Cancer
To better detect skin cancer, it is important to understand the three forms of skin cancer:
The Risk Factors
- Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 96,480 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. and an estimated 7,230 people will die from the disease in 2019. Melanoma will look like a new mole that has an unusual appearance. The mole can have ragged and uneven edges with shades ranging from black to tan. The biggest indicator of melanoma is if the mole is constantly changing.
- Basal cell is caused by sun exposure and can also develop in those who have received radiation therapy as a child. Basal cell carcinoma will look like a reddish patch on the skin that is itchy but barely hurts. It may look like a pink, red or white growth with an undefined border. Basal cell spots can become an open sore that bleeds or crusts without closing for several weeks.
- Squamous cell is usually caused by sun exposure and can be seen on different parts of the skin. Squamous cell is a wart-like growth that has a rough surface and a central depression. This form of skin cancer can also develop sores that stay open for weeks.
Although those with fair skin types are more likely to burn by sun exposure and have a higher risk of skin cancer, any skin color can be affected by skin cancer. Other risk factors include:
How to Prevent Skin Cancer
- Long periods of sun exposure (UVA)
- Tanning bed use
- History of sunburns
- Have had skin cancer before
- Weakened or suppressed immune system
- Family history of skin cancer
- Limit sun exposure of both UVA and UVB rays
- Never use tanning beds (no amount of exposure is safe)
- Wear sun-protective clothing
- Wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or more
- Conduct regular self-examinations of your skin
It is important to talk with your doctor right way if you notice any changes in your skin or moles. For more sun and summer safety tips, click here.
HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center are located in Green Bay. HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital is located in Sheboygan, and HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital is located in Oconto Falls. The four hospitals make up the Eastern Wisconsin Division of Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS).
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 Local Systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org
. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org