Skin cancer prevention is best approached in two ways:
1.) Reducing overall exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation
In 2011, the Journal of Clinical Oncology published a randomized, clinical study of over 1,600 people showing that regular sunscreen use reduced the incidence of melanoma by 50-73%! When used as directed with other sun protection measures, broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher helps prevent sunburn and reduces the risk of early skin aging and skin cancer (melanoma and squamous cell carcinomas) associated with UV radiation. Several scientific research studies disprove claims that sunscreen use increases melanoma risk. These comprehensive assessments of thousands of people found that sunscreen use does not increase one’s risk of developing melanoma
2.) Detecting melanoma early through annual skin and spot checks
Secondary prevention is defined as detecting melanoma in its earliest stages through regular skin exams by a dermatologist or certified physician’s assistant. As many patients and survivors have recounted, their melanoma was found by a friend or a partner who happened to notice something different – and urged them to see a dermatologist. Unfortunately, immediate access to a qualified
provider is not always obtainable due to lack of health insurance, poor access to providers (rural areas), or long appointment wait times for dermatologists. As a result of these consistent roadblocks inherently present in the United States’ health system, countless preventable deaths have occurred from deadly skin cancer.