Must-Read: Skin Cancer Myths
While we have spent a good amount of time here extolling the virtues of using these summer months to head on outside and become one with nature — however it is you want to do that — one thing we don’t make clear enough perhaps is that, if you’re going to spend a lot of time outdoors, to take proper precautions. No, we don’t mean condoms — although, yes, bring those along too — we mean to lather yourself up with some sunscreen. Because the more time you spend outdoors, the greater shot you got at getting the dreaded skin cancer. But, for whatever reason, especially when it comes to skin cancer people seem to have a lot of misinformation about the disease.
So today we’re heading over to Men’s Health as they break down three of the most popular skin cancer myths that, for some reason or another, have become accepted as fact over the years. For example, this doozy of a myth:
Myth #2: Looking in the mirror is the best skin screening
Reichenberg suggests “checking your birthday suit on your birthday every year” for suspicious scabs, moles, and rashes on your body. (What are you looking for? Click here for full-color photos of What Skin Cancer Looks Like.) But don’t just rely on your own intuition to make a snap judgment. In a 2011 study examining 10 years of patient records at a specialized dermatology clinic, physicians detected about 63 percent of the melanoma cases in first-time patients, while patients themselves only detected 37 percent. “It’s pretty common for your general practitioner to mistake skin cancers for common moles,” says Christopher Miller, M.D., director of dermatologic surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. “Not every GP will feel comfortable doing a biopsy procedure, so have a conversation with yours to see if you should follow up with a specialist,” Miller advises. Have your skin screened by a professional yearly.
Of course. Head on over to the above link for two other myths that have been making their rounds over the years. The more you know!
About Rick Mosely Rick is the editor for TSB magazine.