Skin cancer majorly affects more to Australians than any other nationality. There are three kinds of skin cancer- basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma. The first two forms of cancer make nearly 90% of all skin cancers. The balance is made of melanoma. Basal and squamous carcinoma can be discovered early and treated quickly. It’s the melanoma cancer that is more difficult to detect and treat.
Skin cancer happens because of the over-exposure of the skin to the sun. More white Australians than dark-coloured ones get skin cancer, and this has to do with a lack of melanin. You don’t need to get skin cancer simply because you are white. There are several misconceptions regarding skin cancer. Please read this article and clear away your doubts.
1. White skin versus dark skin
It is a big myth that only white people get skin cancer. Nothing can be farther from the truth. While it is true that more white skin people get skin cancer, dark-coloured people can also get this disease. Hispanics, Afro-Americans, Asians, and the Australian Aborigines can get skin cancer as well. In fact, and you’ll be surprised to know this, skin cancer mortality rates are higher among darker people than white people.
2. More sun exposure means more Vitamin D, and hence, less skin cancer
This is again a widely-held myth. According to skin specialists, we get adequate Vitamin D in our daily food intake. We also get our required Vitamin D from our normal sun exposure. There is no need to bake in the sun to get this Vitamin. Worried that you might have skin cancer? Click here to know more about skin cancer symptoms.
3. Sun exposure= skin cancer
Another popular myth is that skin cancer happens only because of over-exposure to the sun. This again is incorrect. Skin cancer can also happen because of the following reasons;
- Tanning your body on tanning beds
- Your occupation may also cause skin cancer
- Any family history of skin cancer. For example, someone in your immediate family has a history of skin cancer or is at genetic risk of it.
- Weak immune systems
If any of these reasons are applicable in your case, you might be at a higher risk of getting skin cancer.
4. Older people get skin cancer more
This again is a myth. According to various studies, young people get more skin cancer than others. The definition of young people here is 25-29. When you enlarge this bracket to 15-29, you find melanoma to be the second most skin cancer form here. The point is, the more you expose yourself to the sun, the greater are the chances of getting skin cancer. If you are young and work in the sun very long, you might eventually develop skin cancer.
5. Tanning beds don’t cause cancer
This is plain untrue. Many studies have suggested that tanning beds cause melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. If you are using these devices to tan yourself, stop this practice.
6. No need to apply sunscreen on cloudy days
Ultraviolet rays can damage your skin even when the sky is overcast. No study proves that there are no UV rays when the sky is cloudy. Similarly, UV rays are also present during winters, so you need to put on your sunscreen even in this season.
7. Sunscreen creams contain dangerous chemicals
This is untrue. These creams have been proven to fight UV rays quite effectively. However, you may consider applying those creams which contain zinc and titanium oxide. You may also cover up yourselves with towels or cloth if you think your skin isn’t suited for these creams.