HOUSTON – May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, a time to stress the importance of annual skin checks and daily protection to save lives.
To show how everyone can take steps to lower their risk, legendary University of Texas quarterback and current NFL quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, Colt McCoy, and Westlake Dermatology’s board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Quynh-Giao Sartor, joined Houston Life with their insight.
Skin cancer is the most common human cancer – with more than 5 million people diagnosed every year.
“Many skin cancers, including melanoma, are highly curable, especially if detected early, so I recommend visiting your dermatologist for a skin exam at least once a year.,” said Sartor, who mentioned some factors to consider for how often you should get your skin checked.
“If your family has a history of melanoma, and if you’re outdoors and in the sun for long periods of time every day; or do you have a history of indoor tanning or blistering sunburns?” she added.
“My encouragement would be for guys like me, guys who are always outside, nobody likes to go to the doctor, but just to go in and get a routine check-up because it saves you so much time and effort and maybe your life down the road,” said McCoy, who played for coach Mack Brown’s Texas Longhorns football team from ’05 to ’09.
The NFL quarterback shared how he had his first skin exam at Westlake Dermatology because of a foot injury and his dermatologist provided a skin exam where they found abnormal moles.
“They were able to take care of them early and not turned into something super severe down the road,” said McCoy.
“I try to get over there at least a few times a year just to get checked out and see if I have any abnormal spots or moles that popped up and this being May, Skin Cancer Awareness Month, I just think it’s crucially important to get checked out. Every now and then I get a few spots around my eyes or around my nose that I need to get taken care of, but I think just staying on top of that and getting those taken care of early will save so many on issues and problems down the road,” said the football star who got his start in the league when he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 2010 NFL Draft.
According to Dr. Sartor, if you are at home, you can also look at your moles and evaluate if a mole is irregular. Just use your ABCDE’s!
“The key part of preventing skin cancer is being proactive and protecting yourself from the sun’s UV rays. Houston is already heating up, so apply sunscreen often and wear hats and sunglasses when you are outside. Enjoy those pool days and beach trips with your family knowing you are protected,” said Dr. Sartor, who mentioned she offers skin checks with every visit at her West U office.
For more information, you can visit their website here.
To see the complete interview, watch the video above.