Reducing Your Risk Of Future Skin Cancers

If you've been diagnosed with skin cancer, one of the most important things you can do for your health is to take steps to prevent it from coming back. Read on to learn about your risk level of getting skin cancer again and what you can do about it.

Higher Risk After Cancer

Unfortunately, once you've developed skin cancer, you have a higher risk of getting it again. There are various reasons for this, including:

  • Sun Exposure - People who have developed skin cancer generally have had more sun exposure than those who haven't had skin cancer. Excessive sun exposure may take years or decades to turn into a skin cancer.
  • Genetics - If you're genetically predisposed to getting skin cancer, you'll also be at risk for getting it more than once.

Statistically, 35% to 50% of people who've had skin cancer will develop new skin cancer within five years.

Types Of UV Rays

It's fairly obvious that you should take steps to protect yourself from excessive sunlight and UV radiation with sunscreen. However, not all sunscreens protect you from UV exposure equally.

Sunscreens are usually marketed as having a specific SPF level: the higher the SPF level, the more protection the sunscreen offers. However, SPF only measures protection from UVB rays, which causes sunburns: it doesn't measure protection against UVA rays, which can increase your risk of melanoma or other skin cancers.

To make sure that you're receiving protection from both types of UV radiation, use a sunscreen that advertises itself as broad-spectrum.

Window Risks

You might think that the windows in your home and car are protecting you from UV rays, but that's not necessarily the case. The glass in most home windows does block most UVB rays, but not UVA rays. The glass in your car's front windshield is designed to block the majority of UV rays, but your side windows don't.

You can reduce your UV exposure through windows by always wearing sunscreen and applying UV-filtering window film to your windows.

Beneficial Foods

Some foods can actually be beneficial in fighting skin cancer. Consider eating more of these foods:

Always follow your dermatologist's advice and directions. With their directions and these tips, you can reduce your risk of developing new skin cancers, even after skin cancer surgery