May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month
May 30, 2023, 9:57 pm
Did you know?
- 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
- Having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma.
- An estimated 3.6 million cases of Basal Cell Carcinoma are diagnosed in the U.S each year.
- More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S than all other cancers combined.
- An estimated 7,990 people will die of melanoma in 2023.
- When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99 percent.
Ways to help prevent skin cancer:
- Cover up- Clothing provides a great barrier against the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The more skin you cover the better. Also wear UV-blocking sunglasses to protect your eyes and the skin around them.
- Play in the shade- especially between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM, the peak hours of sun intensity.
- Look out for windows- While glass blocks UVB rays well, it allows UVA rays to pass through.
- Say no to tanning beds- Indoor tanning raises the risk of all kinds of skin cancer, including melanoma. Using a tanning bed before the age of 35 increases your risk of melanoma by 75 percent.
- Using sun protection consistently from an early age is the strongest defense against developing skin cancer.
Protecting your skin from the sun can reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, sunburn, and premature skin aging. If you have had skin cancer, sun protection can reduce your risk of getting another skin cancer.
The Skin Cancer Foundation advises everyone to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating. They also recommend that all adults do monthly skin self-exams and see a dermatologist annually, or more frequently if they see something suspicious or have risk factors.