Why get naked? Skin cancer, is one reason. That’s right, it’s important to regularly look your body over for detection. Skin cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in the U.S., with nearly one million new cases each year. Undiagnosed, it can cause serious problems.
Basal cell and squamous cell cancers are the most common, but melanoma is the most deadly. Melanoma is responsible for over seven thousand deaths a year and the incidence is increasing rapidly. Melanoma is now the number one cancer in younger women and second only to breast cancer in women over the age of 30. White and fair skin people are at the greatest risk. However, skin cancer is deadlier among African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians, even though their risk is less.
Most skin cancer is preventable. But it requires staying out of the sun as much as possible. If you’re going to be exposed, be certain to cover up. Wear a hat that shades your face and both the front and back of your neck, plus a long sleeve shirt and full length pants to cover arms and legs.
Also, use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and reapply it throughout the day – especially after swimming or sweating. Be sure to get new sunscreen each year, because last year’s is no longer effective. And, definitely avoid tanning booths, since they’ve been shown to increase your risk.
A diet rich in carotenoid fruits and vegetables plus a high quality carotenoid supplement can also help protect against skin cancer. Carotenoids are the phytonutrient factors in certain plants that help protect them from sun damage. Luckily, it can do the same for you.
But, you still need to get naked. Take your clothes off and look yourself over for changes in skin. It’s an important habit for protecting yourself from skin cancer. And, always be sure to check out those hard to see places like your back, buttocks, bottom of feet and top of your head. Maybe a friend can help!