When I turned 50, I noticed a rough patch of skin on my nose. It would bleed and then go away, and come back every few months. Years past and then about 6 months ago I woke up and the spot was bleeding again. This time I went to the doctor who diagnosed it as a pre-cancer and burned it off. So far, it hasn’t come back.
Melanomas are the most serious type of skin cancer and can be mistaken for moles. If they are caught early, the cure rate is very high.
Menopause is a time when you have to pay more attention to your health, so taking care of your skin is just one more way of taking care of your body. Here are 4 ways to prevent skin cancer in menopause:
Know the Warning Signs
According to the American Cancer Society, there are 5 warning signs:
- When you look at the suspicious spot, are both halves equal?
- Is there an uneven border around the spot? Deadly melanomas are uneven.
- If the spot is cancerous, the spot will usually be brown, black, or even red.
- Most melanomas are the size of a pencil eraser or larger.
- Is the spot growing, itchy, bleeding, or crusty?
Examine Skin Closely
Pick a time once a month to do a complete skin check. Use a hand mirror so you can look at all the hidden spots such as behind the ears, between the toes, or under your arms. Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if anything looks suspicious.
Eat fatty fish such as wild salmon, whitefish, and albacore tuna to fight inflammation. If you don’t like fish, ask your doctor about an Omega-3 supplement.
If you’re going to the beach or spending any time in the outdoors, use sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15. This filters out 93% of ultra-violet rays. Apply 30 minutes before going out, and reapply every two hours.