December 16, 2018

Skin Cancer Awareness

July 2016

Sun_safety

As we all know summer is now in full swing, and although May was Melanoma Awareness Month we thought it would be important to recap on the importance of skin cancer awareness for all ages.

 

 

 

It comes as no surprise that in the United States skin cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer each year. According to the American Cancer Society, roughly 5.4 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancers are diagnosed each year. Melanoma accounts for approximately 1.4% of those diagnosed cases, and happens to be the deadliest type skin cancer. What can we do to keep ourselves protected?

 

Sun Safety 101:

  • Choose your hours of activity outdoors wisely.According to the American Cancer Society the sun’s rays are the strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you must be outside, seek areas of shade when possible.
  • Cover up!Whether it be a shirt, hat, pants, or sundress make sure that the fabric is tightly woven. The CDC states that dry clothing and darker colors reflect more of the dangerous UV rays thus, offering more protection. REMEMBER: Ears and necks are often left exposed with ball caps and therefore may require another method of protection such as sunscreen.
  • Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen. Per the American Cancer Society, look for a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30, and remember to reapply at least every 2 hours.
  • Wear wrap-around sunglasses. Be sure that the sunglasses are big enough to cover the delicate skin underneath your eyes and provide a 100% of both UVA and UVB protection.

 

Know Your Skin:

  • Take 10! Each month take 10 minutes to examine your skin. When trying to view hard to see places consider using a mirror or asking a partner or family member to help you out.
  • Remember your ABCs. Keep in mind the following when evaluating moles, freckles, and age spots:
    • A = Asymmetry
      One half is unlike the other half.
    • B = Border
      An irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.
    • C = Color
      Is varied from one area to another; has shades of tan, brown or black, or is sometimes white, red, or blue.
    • D = Diameter
      Melanomas are usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, but they can be smaller.
    • E = Evolving
      A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.
  • Call your Doctor with anything suspicious.