Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. It is also one of the cancers that we can do something about if detected early.
Melanoma is one of the least common skin cancers. However, it is the most aggressive and serious because of its potential to spread to other parts of the body and cause serious illness.
UV Radiation: Cause of Skin Cancer
Virtually all skin cancers are caused by the sun, in particular by exposure of the skin to UV radiation. In the southern hemisphere, including southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand and parts of South America, the levels of ultraviolet radiation is very high. The protective ozone layer has been compromised by climate change, placing an extra burden on our skin.
Melanoma Detection: What to Look For
Melanoma is a skin cancer that anyone can get. Due to its aggressive nature early detection is essential.
Everyone should check their skin each month and visit a dermatologist once a year. You will then be one step ahead in catching melanoma early.
Most people have a mole or two — a flat or raised colored spot on the skin. These spots are caused when skin pigment cells cluster. Most moles are harmless and don’t change but others can change and a few can turn cancerous. The biggest clue that a spot on the skin might be melanoma is if it’s changing. A cancerous mole will change in size, shape, or color over time.
Melanoma Detection: Self-examination Tips
- You will need to get naked!
- Examine head and face and inspect your scalp.
- Focus on neck, chest and torso. Women: check under breasts.
- Check hands, including nails, elbows, arms and underarms
- Inspect back of neck, shoulders, upper arms, back, buttocks and legs.
- Check legs and feet, including soles, heels and nails.
Melanoma Prevention: Tips for Keeping UV Safe
- Avoid the hours of the day with maximum UV concentration.
- Wear protective clothing including sunhats.
- Use a high factor sunscreen. Make sure it has a minimum SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or even higher.
- Protect yourself throughout the year.
Two in three South Africans will be diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70 with the majority of skin cancers occurring on exposed areas of the body such as the head, neck and face which is why its essential to wear a hat!
Emthunzini sunhats are endorsed by dermatologist, Dr Dagmar Whitaker, President of the Melanoma Society in South Africa and President of the Dermatological Society of South Africa.
Dr Whitaker comments, “Eighty percent of the total lifetime UV exposure is acquired in childhood. With time, more and more cells escape the control of the immune system and that is why skin cancer only manifests itself later in life.”
With this in mind, its essential we educate our children and grandchildren on sun protection from a young age.
Emthunzini sunhats for men, women and children are approved by the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) and tested to meet the international UPF 50+ requirements offering assurance and peace of mind against the harmful rays of the sun.
Please remember, skin cancer can happen to anyone. Be smart: protect yourself and wear your Emthunzini sunhat!
For further information on our sunhats and their sun protective values email firstname.lastname@example.org.