Prevention of Basal Cell Cancer

The majority of cases of BCC can be prevented. To prevent the development of BCC one must:

Avoid Sun: Sun exposure is the number one risk factor for the development of BCC. The sun should be avoided during the early morning and afternoon, when it is the hottest. Try and schedule your work or sporting activities outside these hours.

For those who can not avoid the sun, one must wear a sunscreen. Even though sunscreens are not 100% protective, they do filter out most of the sun's harmful UV rays. One should wear a sun screen with an SPF of > 20 and all the sun exposed areas of the body must be covered. The sunscreen should be applied at least 20-30 minutes before exposure to the sun. The sunscreens should be reapplied every 2-3 hours and if you swim or exercise, it must be reapplied each time.

Buy a sunscreen which has both organic and inorganic ingredients listed. These sunscreens have a broader coverage than the traditional sunscreens. However, just because one uses sunscreens does not mean skin cancer can not occur. Sunscreens alone are not the way to [prevent skin cancer.

One should always wear protective clothing to cover the sun exposed areas of the body. A hat and long sleeve shirt are useful ways to avoid the sun. Today there are also clothing fabrics available which protect against the sun's rays. A decent pair of sunglasses may also help block of the UV rays.

Phototoxicity: there are many medications which can react adversely to sunlight. When one takes a medication like accutane, the medication can sensitize the skin to suns rays and cause an intense burn. One should be ware of these medications, and if so either avoid the sun, or wear a sunscreen. The list of medications causing phototoxicity is very long.

Anyone who sits out in the sun to tan or is regularly exposed to sun or has a history of skin cancer, a periodic check up by the physician is highly recommended. BCC have a tendency to recur.

There are some who advocate taking mega doses of vitamins because of their anti oxidant effects. However, our body has large stores of these vitamins and health individuals do not generally benefit from excess doses. The best thing is to ensure that the foods you eat contain all the essential vitamins you need. A person eating a health diet of fruits, vegetables and meat should not require any additional vitamins

Self exam: one should get inn the habit of self examining the skin. One should always look at any skin lesions and determine if they are changing in color, size or texture. Any suspicion skin lesion should be brought to the attention of the physician

Avoid tanning: Artificial sun tans are a very high risk for skin cancer. Sun tanning booths are best avoided. They make look all bronzed over but the chances of developing a skin cancer are very high.

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