why awareness is important
May is Skin Cancer Awareness month. Skin Cancer is the most common cancer in America with over 5 million cases diagnosed each year. This means that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer and is why we need to be aware of the signs, risks, and prevention measures.
Prevention starts with sunscreen
Everyone needs a broad spectrum sunscreen. You need a SPF daily – even indoors and on those gray rainy or snowy days. UVA rays cause aging and have the ability to travel through glass. Did you know that 80% of uv radiation can penetrate through the clouds and fog? An interesting fact to remember is the sun’s uv rays are strongest when your shadow is shorter than you.
Sunscreens provide a screen NOT a block! Make it a habit to apply 15-30 minutes prior to going
outside, even on those rainy days,and don’t forget to reapply every 2 hours. Keep in mind there
is no such thing as a ‘healthy tan’ – a tan is a sign of injury.
prevention beyond suncreen
Other good prevention strategies include seeking shade when possible and wearing protective gear such as a wide brimmed hat, sun protective clothing with uv filters in the fabric,
and wrap around sunglasses. Avoid indoor tanning and get annual skin exams.
Skin cancer is preventable and treatable but it must be caught early. It’s not just skin cancer when it’s the largest organ of your body. Make an appointment and get screened.
Written by Ms.Tracie