Today I would like to tell you about five important myths about skin cancer.
The first one is, "I can not get a skin cancer under my bathing suit." The reality is that the sun shines on one spot and does damage, and then that damage is transmitted through a very complex process all the way into the body, through the blood, and then comes back to the skin in different places that have never seen the sun. So the reality is you can get a skin cancer anywhere if you have had damaging ultraviolet radiation any place on your skin.
The second myth is, "I can’t get a sunburn and I can't get skin cancer on a cloudy day." I like to use the example, if you can see your hand in front of your face on a cloudy day, then there is enough light coming through the clouds dragging ultraviolet light with it to give you both a sunburn and to do the damage that sunlight does to cause skin cancer.
Next is, "Tanning beds are safer than regular sunlight." This is absolutely wrong, because with tanning beds, you don’t really know how much ultraviolet radiation you are getting. The tanning beds often do not regulate their bulbs, they don’t know how active they are, and they even don’t know how much radiation you are getting. With the sun and natural sunlight, just by experience, you have an idea just how much sunlight you are getting.
The fourth myth is, "I don’t need to be checked for skin cancer because I can watch my moles and they are not changing." The reality is that moles change so little everyday that you only remember what you saw yesterday, and if it changes one one-hundredth of a percent a day, you are not going to remember what it looked like five months ago, or even five years ago. So your recollection that it has not changed unfortunately isn't always valid. Get your skin checked by a dermatologist at least once a year.
Lastly, "Skin cancer is not as dangerous as other forms of cancer." Sadly, one American dies from a melanoma skin cancer every hour in this country and once skin cancers they have spread to different parts of your body, there really is no effective treatment for those skin cancers. They are very dangerous and just as virulent as any type of cancer.
So I hope that debunking these five important myths about skin cancer will help you.