Learning About Skin Cancer And The Importance Of Sunscreen
- Scott Warner is a huge BYU sports fan. And now, the father of four is happily sharing his stitches in the shape of a ‘Y’ following skin cancer surgery while also saying he wishes he’d worn more sunscreen in the past.
- We can get sun damage at any time throughout the year, even in the cold, wintry months. Our experts recommend skin protection techniques like sunscreen usage all year round.
- No matter how vigilant you are about wearing sunscreen and decreasing your risk for skin cancer, its important to still prioritize routine checkups with your dermatologist and always be on the lookout for any skin changes in between visits.
Warner, a father of four, has previously described himself as “the diehardest of hardest BYU fans.” And the software company CEO is even married to former BYU Cougarette Mickell. So, it’s no surprise that this optimistic fan even saw the bright side of his skin cancer surgery when he came out of the operating room sporting a series of stitches across his face that looked exactly like a ‘Y.’
Just finished surgery. It went really well.Read More
Go Cougars. Y💪🏻😜 pic.twitter.com/derFo9moFd— SCOTT WARNER (@ScottWarner18) April 22, 2022
“Just finished surgery,” he wrote in a recent Tweet. “It went really well. Go Cougars. Y💪🏻😜”
The surgery came after a biopsy of a basal cell excision from his face came back cancerous. He just had the operation on Thursday, April, 21.
But the lighthearted message was also followed by an important note from Warner from a Tweet prior to receiving the news of his skin cancer.
I wish I could go back in time and tell my dumb younger self to always wear sunscreen while out in the sun. I just had a basal cell excision. Hoping the biopsy comes back with good news. #CancerSucks pic.twitter.com/NfsIORGcIp
— SCOTT WARNER (@ScottWarner18) March 1, 2022
“I wish I could go back in time and tell my dumb younger self to always wear sunscreen while out in the sun,” he wrote.
Thankfully, Warner says he is now cancer free! And, hopefully, the BYU super fan will be wearing plenty of sunscreen next time he catches an outdoor game.
Understanding Skin Cancer
The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that over 5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States every year, making it the most common cancer in the United States. And even though most of us aren’t soaking up the sun in a bathing suit at this time of year, it’s important to remember that the risk of developing skin cancer is very much still there in the winter months.
“My patients ask me all the time, ‘Do I really need sunscreen every day, all year round?’ The answer is yes,” Dr. Dendy Engelman, a board certified dermatologic surgeon at Shafer Clinic Fifth Avenue, previously told SurvivorNet. “People think they only need sun protection when they’re in the bright, warm sunshine. But the reality is, we can get sun damage at any time throughout the year, even in the cold, wintry months. Think about when you go skiing. That’s a very high risk. Even though it’s cold, our skin should be protected.”
Dr. Engelman, shared the top five things you can do to avoid skin cancer:
- Avoid sun during peak hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Wear a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect the tops of our heads, the tops of our ears and the delicate area around the eye.
- Wear at least SPF 30 sunscreen and make sure to reapply every two hours or after excessive sweating or swimming.
- Have yearly skin checks (with a professional) because it’s difficult to evaluate areas all over the body.
- Avoid tanning beds. There are no “good” tanning beds, and they can significantly increase your risk of skin cancer.
No matter how vigilant you are about decreasing your risk for skin cancer, its important to still prioritize routine checkups with your dermatologist and always be on the lookout for any skin changes in between visits.
The Importance of Sunscreen
Many people commit to using sunscreen every day, but it’s important to note that choosing the right product can be just as important as consistency.
Dr. Cecilia Larocca, a dermatologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, recommends you use sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and reapply it every two hours. Your sunscreen should also be broad spectrum, says Dr. Larocca, meaning it covers both UVB and UVA rays.
Dermatologist Dr. Snehal Amin, the co-founder and surgical director of MDCS Dermatology: Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, says that while brand name is not very important, paying attention to the ingredients and feel of the sunscreen can make a difference.
“My recommendation is really focus on the ingredients rather than the brands,” Dr. Amin says. “If you like the way the brand feels on your skin, if you like the purpose of the brand – for instance, sport versus daily use or daytime use versus a short burst of activity use – I think those are more important factors than actual brands.”