Summer is quickly approaching and with it come vacations at the beach, weekends at the pool or lake, outdoor sports such as kayaking, tennis, biking, and, of course, barbecues galore. All of these activities have one common denominator - they require being outside in the sunshine. Along with this sunshine comes a hidden danger: UV rays. These rays, if not protected against, can damage your skin and lead to many types of skin cancer.
Drs. Marina and Richard Buckley of Advanced Dermatology Pocono Medical Care in Milford, PA have a few insights and tips for avoiding and recognizing skin cancers at an early stage.
What causes skin cancer?
Frequent or excessive sun exposure results in the skin receiving levels of UV radiation that it cannot protect against. These UV rays damage DNA in the nucleus of the skin cells and normal cells may mutate into cancerous cells. For example, it has been found that sun induced mutations are present in over 90% of all Basal Cell Carcinomas.
Fortunately, the skin has a repair mechanism that is constantly trying to repair the DNA, however, occasionally the damage cannot be repaired or a mistake is made during the repair process and the result is a mutation which can be cancerous. Additionally, UV radiation suppresses the immune system'S ability to fight skin cancer.
Sun exposure is dangerous and puts you at an increased risk of developing skin cancer. People with fair skin (e.g. blue or green eyes, blond or red hair) have especially sensitive skin. There are many instances of people who remember getting one significant burn at the beach 30 or 40 years ago and now they have lots of skin cancers.
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