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May: Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection Month

In May, the weather is warmer and people start going out to enjoy the sun. We all know that absorbing some vitamin D is essential for our health, but being aware and cautious about its risks is part of the strategy for a balanced and healthy life. Let’s be aware of melanoma and skin cancer detection and prevention. Melanoma and skin cancer are types of cancer – the most common ones in the United States – that develop in skin cells when they start to grow out of control, and may spread to other parts of the body. They are normally caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays, either from the sun, tanning beds or sun lamps.

 

Prevention of Skin Cancer

 

Prevent Always

  • Avoid burning and intentional tanning (in the sun or tanning beds).
  • Stay in the shade when sun’s rays are the strongest, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Use long-sleeved shirts and pants, hat and sunglasses whenever possible.
  • Apply sunscreen on exposed body surfaces; it should be applied on the face every day.
  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or higher for protection from ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation.
  • Apply 15 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours.
  • Be extra cautious around snow, water and sand as these are surfaces that reflect more sunrays.

Detect Early

  • Do monthly complete body self-examinations to spot any signs of developing skin cancer. Learn how to do the self-examination step by step in the website below:

http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/early-detection/step-by-step-self-examination

  • Invest in a first doctor’s examination and have it done at least once a year, along with your self-examination.
  • Remember: skin cancers found and removed early are almost always curable!

 

Resources

www.cancer.org  Accessed in April 23, 2017.

www.skincancerprevention.org/skin-cancer/prevention-tips

www.skincancer.org/

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