To recognize Cancer Prevention Month, Roper St. Francis Healthcare cancer surgeons and oncologists call attention to the importance of routine cancer screening in a series of interviews.
Surgical Oncologist Dr. Daniel Kirchoff kicks off the National Cancer Prevention Month series by advising that it’s never too early to begin skin cancer screenings. He talks about who should get screened and when, early detection signs and common risk factors.
“Generally, when someone has had significant sun exposure as a child, they should start getting screened as early as right after high school,” Dr. Kirchoff says. “And then that becomes more important the older you get.”
He also advised anyone who has family members who have had skin cancer as well as those with fair skin and moles to be evaluated. “It’s very important you see a dermatologist at least for an initial baseline screening for skin surveillance,” Dr. Kirchoff says.
In addition to yearly screenings, there are other precautions one can take to prevent skin cancer.
Wearing sunscreen during the sweltering summer months is a given, but the sun’s rays can be just as damaging in the winter.
The CDC recommends the following sun safety measures:
- Stay in the shade.
- Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
- Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block both UVA and UVB rays.
- Use broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.