Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Your Skin, the Summer Sun & Skin Cancer Prevention

Skin cancer is the most common diagnosed cancer in the United States. Melanoma, which is responsible for 75% of all skin cancer deaths, is the 5th most commonly diagnosed cancer in Colorado. And, Colorado’s annual rate of new melanoma diagnoses was 15% higher than the national average from 2002-2006. About 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime, and it is estimated that about 117 people in Colorado die of melanoma each year.

Prevention is key when it comes to skin cancer! An ounce of prevention, such as avoiding unprotected exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light and early detection, goes a long way in decreasing the potential of developing skin cancer. Below is a list of the most effective skin cancer prevention action steps:
  • Do Not Burn: Overexposure to the sun is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer;
  • Avoid Sun Tanning and Tanning Beds: UV light from tanning beds and the sun causes skin cancer and wrinkling; 
  • Use Sunscreen: Always remember to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Reapply at least every two hours and after swimming and sweating; 
  • Cover Up: Wear protective clothing when out in the sun, such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses (with 99-100% UVA/UVB protection); 
  • Stay in the Shade: Retreat to the shade when the sun’s UV rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.; and, 
  • Watch for the UV Index: Plan outdoor activities around the index to prevent overexposure to the sun.

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