As summer draws to a close, many families put away their sunscreen. But
ideally, skin cancer awareness should be embraced every month of the year
and during all sorts of weather. Even on a cloudy day in December, the
skin can still sustain damage from the sun’s harmful rays. Practicing
skin cancer awareness year-round may help prevent this life-threatening
disease from developing. Here at
Regional Medical Center of San Jose, our team encourages our neighbors throughout the greater San Jose area
to take a few simple precautions in order to prevent skin cancer.
One major misconception about sun exposure is that it’s healthy to
get vitamin D through unprotected sun exposure despite the increased risk
of skin cancer. But in fact, even a
small amount of unprotected sun exposure can inflict serious damage on the DNA of your skin cells. Instead, many
healthcare experts recommend getting vitamin D through foods and supplements.
Some good food sources include egg yolks, salmon, mackerel, tuna, and
dairy products fortified with vitamin D.
It’s recommended that adults have a yearly skin exam from a doctor
and that they also perform monthly self-exams. During a self-exam, carefully
check your face, scalp, hands, ears, and all other body parts for unusual
skin growths, sores, or other changes in the skin. You’ll likely
need a family member to help you check certain areas like your back, ears,
and scalp. Calling the attention of your doctor to abnormal skin changes
can facilitate the early detection of problems.
Know the ABCDEs of melanoma. This helpful mnemonic stands for Asymmetry,
Border, Color, Diameter, and Evolving. Potentially cancerous moles tend
to be asymmetrical; that is, if you draw an imaginary line down the middle,
the two sides will not match. They tend to have uneven or irregular borders,
a variety of colors or shades in the same mole, and a diameter larger
than that of a pencil eraser. They also tend to evolve or change over time.
Regional Medical Center of San Jose offers a full range of
cancer care services, including screenings, surgical intervention, medical oncology,
psychosocial and support services, and nutrition services. At our community
hospital in San Jose, you’ll also find unparalleled stroke care,
breast care, heart health services, and emergency care, just to name a
few of our specialty hospital services. For general information about
our hospital, call (888) 762-8881 and speak with a registered nurse.