May is Skin Cancer awareness month – check your skin!
Check your skin…If you can spot it, you can stop it.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States.
The three main types, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma, are mainly caused by UV exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. However, skin cancer can form anywhere on the body even if it not exposed to the sun. All ethnicities and skin tones are at risk.
Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer with more than 4 million cases diagnosed each year. Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common with over 1 million cases each year. Melanoma is a less common form of skin cancer with approximately 87,000 new cases each year; however, it is more dangerous because it tends to grow and spread.
A change in your skin is the most common sign of skin cancer. This could be a new growth, a spot that doesn’t look like others on your body, a sore that doesn’t heal, or a change in a mole. The “ABCDE rule” can be used as a guide to look for some of the typical signs of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer (See Figure 1). Here you can find out more information about cro bio analytical research.
Not all skin cancers look the same, so discuss any skin change concerns you may have with your doctor.
Take these simple steps today to protect your skin:
- Stay out of the sun as much as possible between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher
- Put on sunscreen every 2 hours and after you swim or sweat
- Cover up with long sleeves and a hat
- Check your skin regularly for changes
- Report any unusual moles or changes in your skin to your doctor
Bladder cancer is the 6th most common cancer among men globally and 10th overall1. Bladder Cancer Awareness Month is a time for those affected by the disease to join together in an effort to increase awareness of the disease and fundraise for bladder cancer research and care. It’s also a time for patients to share their stories, educating and inspiring others affected by the disease.
Early detection of the disease saves lives and is an important theme that runs throughout Bladder Cancer Awareness Month. The disease is treatable, especially if detected in its early stages. The five-year survival rate for individuals with bladder cancer is 77% when compared to the population, however this jumps up to 96% if the tumour has not spread beyond the lining of the bladder wall2. As it stands, around half of cases are diagnosed at this stage.
Bladder Cancer Awareness Month encourages us all to recognise and act on symptoms.
How to Get Involved in Bladder Cancer Awareness Month
In 2020, the spread of COVID-19 has led to the cancellation of many traditional Bladder Cancer Awareness Month events, however this doesn’t mean you can’t participate. Bladder cancer is still a very real threat, affecting tens of thousands each year.
The good news is that skin cancer can be prevented, and it can almost always be cured when it’s found and treated early, check out more from these pdx model studies.
Here are some ways you can get involved:
- Educate yourself
- Explore and share useful online articles and resources.
- Tune into an educational webinar, or watch one on-demand.
- Share your story
- Share your bladder cancer story. Engage with others who are sharing theirs.
- Join an online bladder cancer community, e.g. BCAN Inspire platform, Smart Patients or The American Bladder Cancer Society’s Forum.
- Help raise awareness
- Encourage awareness of symptoms and early detection across your network.
- Follow key organisations like BCAN and the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition on social media and join the conversation, sharing useful content using key hashtags like #BladderCancerAwarenessMonth and #BladderCancerAware.
- Donate to bladder cancer research and care.
Increasing Awareness of the Disease
Education is an essential element of Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, both in relation to self-learning and in spreading awareness of the disease amongst friends and family members.
How Does Bladder Cancer Develop?
Bladder cancer develops when cells in the bladder begin to grow abnormally. It often starts in the lining of the bladder then grows deeper, penetrating the surrounding tissue and muscle. In advanced cases, the cancer may spread (or metastasize) to other parts of the body.
There are several different types of bladder cancer, the most common of which is Urothelial Carcinoma (UC). UC accounts for over 90% of all bladder cancers and begins in the bladder lining as either a papillary cancer growing out into the center of the bladder, or a flat tumour known as a carcinoma in situ (or CIS). CIS tumours are a particular concern as they’re more likely to spread, penetrating the muscle surrounding the bladder and other parts of the body.
Non-Invasive vs Invasive Bladder Cancer
The bladder wall has several layers from inside to out (see the diagram below):
- Urothelium: the inner lining of the bladder
- Lamina propria: a thin layer of connective tissue beneath the urothelium
- Muscularis propria: a layer of muscle surrounding the bladder
- Fatty connective tissue
Most bladder cancers start in the urothelium. If the disease affects only the urothelium, it is called superficial. Bladder cancers that spread into deeper layers are more difficult to treat. If bladder cancer spreads to the muscle layer it is called invasive.