Drivers beware, more left-sided skin cancer
Professional drivers, carpooling moms, daily commuters and other drivers are at risk for skin cancer. Along with any protective gear worn while driving, researchers at Saint Louis University suggest sunscreen be added to the protective gear. Doctors at SLU have found that facial skin cancers are most often on the left side of the face, especially in men.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Scott Fosko, MD and chair of dermatology at SLU School of Medicine, as well as co-author of the study warns that drivers need to be aware of the exposure to the sun they are cumulating. It is a cumulative effect that may not show up until many years later as the left-sided skin cancer.
Dr. Fosko recommends that sunscreen must protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Reading the label on the sunscreen bottle will help to determine if it protects against both. Added benefits of prevention of premature skin wrinkling and aging of the skin come from wearing the sunscreen every day. Skin cancer is one of the most deadly of cancers, but it is also one of the most preventable as well. Along with safety glasses, steel-pointed boots, and gloves, sunscreen use every day will aid in prevention of skin cancer on the left side (and right) side of the face.
Most of the more than 1 million cases of nonmalignant skin cancers each year in the United States are related to sun exposure. The highly malignant melanoma is also most times the result of cumulative sun exposure for the nearly 12,000 who die of the cancer each year, according to the American Cancer Society.
Preventing skin cancer also comes with regular screenings of the skin. Most doctors recommend observing your skin once a month. Some tips for observing skin include checking the skin right after a bath or shower while the skin is still wet and using a full length mirror. A small hand held mirror may be used for those hard to spot areas. Keeping track of each and every mole on your skin is very important. It is useful to take pictures of them in order to check for differences each month. Remember the size and what they look like. Surging hormones may play a part in changing moles, such as pregnancy and teen years, as well as going through menopause.
WebMD reminds all about the ABCDE’s of mole examination. Any of these signs require immediate attention by a doctor: Asymmetry of a mole where one side does not look like the other, the Border where edges of the mole are ragged, blurred or irregular, change in Color, Diameter includes that moles should not be any larger than a pencil eraser, and Elevation includes a mole that appears raised from the skin.