I Exercise Outdoors A Lot. Will I Get Skin Cancer?
“Not everyone who is active outdoors will get skin cancer. Wear protective clothing and accessories, and apply sufficient sunblock regularly to lower your risk, especially if you’re always under intense and prolonged sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) light, be it for sports or work. You’re also more prone to skin cancers through exposure to very high levels of radiation, such as those from X-rays, or if you often come into contact with chemicals like arsenic (miners and farmers are prone to this) and the hydrocarbons in tar and oil. Other risk factors are if you sunburn easily, struggle with any form of skin pigmentation, and have unusual moles (including the ones you’ve had since birth) or an excessive number of moles.”
Will moles or others similar growths on my body become cancerous with time?
“Yes, skin cancers can start as precancerous growths, and these lesions may become cancerous over time. Doctors often refer to these changes as ‘dysplasia’. The most common skin cancers are basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Fortunately, they are less likely to spread to other body parts, and will stay on the skin. They may be disfiguring if not removed early, however. A small portion of skin cancers are diagnosed as melanoma, and this type is very aggressive and tends to spread to other body parts.”
When should I see a doctor?
“If you’re very fair and are often out in the sun, you should regularly go for complete body check-ups and look for suspicious moles and lesions. You should also head to the clinic if you notice any changes in the size, shape, colour or texture of your pigmentations.”
How will the doctor check for skin cancer?
“A dermatologist may examine suspicious lesion using a dermatoscope, which helps her look for changes that suggest cancer. She may also take a skin biopsy, so that the suspicious lesion can be partially or entirely removed, to be inspected under a microscope for cancerous changes.”