If you were born between 1946 and 1964, chances are you led a carefree life outdoors, playing in the sun. Growing up in New York, we played stick ball and hop-scotch in the streets during those endless days of summer when we were allowed to run free. Some of us even remember basting our hides with iodine and baby oil while lazing on our front stoops, until our skin blistered or peeled, deliberately maximizing our exposure to the hazardous rays we now shield ourselves from.
Our ignorance and the consequences we face now is evident in the number of skin cancer diagnoses in people over 65. Along with this increase is a corresponding rise in the number of biopsies and treatment. But some in the dermatological specialty, as well as other medical experts, are beginning to question the necessity of aggressive screening and treatment, especially in frail, elderly patients, given that the majority of skin cancers are unlikely to be fatal.
While it's recommended to have annual check-ups for your skin, you may want to do some research and ask for a second opinion if your doctor recommends surgery for skin cancer. Here is a good synopsis of the current trend in treatments, and what to look out for.