Note: This post was originally published on Mayo Clinic's Advancing the Science blog on June 19, 2013
Siddharth Singh, M.B.B.S., a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic specializing in the care and evaluation of patients with IBD, discusses the patient takeaways from a Mayo Clinic study presented at the Digestive Disease Week 2013 conference that found patients with IBD are at higher risk for melanoma, a type of skin cancer.
Among the most important takeaways for patients:
- Be sure to see your doctor for an annual skin exam
- Wear long sleeves, hats, and sunglasses to minimize sun exposure
- Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher
- Avoid tanning beds
The American Cancer Society estimates that about 76,690 news cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in 2013. Furthermore, though melanoma accounts for less than 5% of skin cancer cases, it causes a large majority of skin cancer deaths.