How to Reduce Your Risk of Developing Basal Cell Carcinoma
- Posted on: Oct 15 2023
In addition to being the most prevalent form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma accounts for the vast majority of all cancers. Thankfully, this kind of skin cancer is very receptive to treatment if caught early.
As long as it isn’t left untreated, basal cell carcinoma is usually not life-threatening, tends to develop slowly, and doesn’t spread to other parts of the body, such as the blood or lymph nodes.
Here’s what you should know about preventing this disease and where to seek a professional diagnosis.
What Causes Basal Cell Carcinoma?
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight and artificial sources like tanning beds, especially when done repeatedly and without protection, is the leading cause of basal cell carcinoma, as well as other skin cancers.
UV radiation can cause DNA damage, which in turn promotes changes in basal cells in the epidermis, leading to uncontrolled growth. Changes in the skin, such as a growth or a sore that doesn’t heal, are the first signs of basal cell carcinoma. Skin lesions often appear as a shiny, translucent bump on the skin.
Risk Factors for Basal Cell Carcinoma
To avoid basal cell carcinoma or to catch it at an early, treatable stage, it’s important to be aware of the risk factors for developing it.
Risk factors include a combination of age, environmental, and genetic variables, such as:
- Frequent UV exposure, whether from the sun or artificially
- Family history of skin cancers
- Being over the age of 50
- Having a lighter skin tone
- Being assigned male at birth (AMAB)
- Chronic skin conditions, infections, or inflammation
How to Prevent Basal Cell Carcinoma
Avoiding direct sunlight between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and consistently using an SPF 30+ sunscreen are your best chances for preventing the development of skin cancer from sun damage.
If you must be out in the sun for an extended period of time, be sure to protect your skin by wearing dark, tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs, as well as a hat with a wide brim.
In addition, you should regularly check your skin for the development of new moles, freckles, or pimples, as well as the progression of preexisting ones—including your birthmarks.
Get Checked for Basal Cell Carcinoma in Peachtree Corners, GA
If you’ve been spending a lot of time in the sun or tanning, or have noticed changes to your skin, make sure you visit your doctor for a screening.
From meticulous skin cancer screenings to the application of the most advanced medical treatments, including Mohs surgery, the members of the American Society for Mohs Surgery (ASMS) have made important contributions to patient health of which the ASMS is immensely proud. Given the increasing prevalence of skin cancer, ASMS maintains that all patients should have sufficient and promptly available access to skin cancer specialists and Mohs providers.
To find out more about basal cell carcinoma diagnosis and treatment in Peachtree Corners, GA, or to connect with an ASMS member near you, contact (714) 379-6262 today.
Posted in: Basal & Squamous Cell Carcinoma