Did you know? Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Fortunately, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer.
Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays causes most cases of melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer. To lower your skin cancer risk, protect your skin from the sun and avoid indoor tanning.
Facts about Skin Cancer
- Unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun’s UV rays in as little as 15 minutes.
- Even if it’s cool and cloudy, you still need protection. UV rays, not the temperature, do the damage.
- Anyone can get skin cancer, but some things put you at a higher risk.
- The most common signs of skin cancer are changes on your skin, such as a new growth, a sore that doesn’t heal or a change in a mole.
What are the Risk Factors for Skin Cancer?
- Lighter, natural skin color
- Skin that burns, reddens easily or becomes painful in the sun
- Blue or green eyes
- Blonde or red hair
- Certain types and large numbers of moles
- A family history of skin cancer
- A personal history of skin cancer
- Older age
Summer is full of outdoor activities. You probably put sunscreen on yourself and your kids when you go to the pool or the beach. But do you know you should protect your skin with more than just sunscreen anytime you’re outside?
Sun protection is important all year round, and it’s best to use several different kinds. When you’re working in the yard, watching a ballgame, or taking an afternoon walk, make sun safety an everyday habit so you can avoid getting a sunburn and lower your chance of getting skin cancer.
Sun Safety Tips
- Wear a light long-sleeved shirt or cover-up
- Wear a hat with a wide brim that shades your face, head, ears and neck
- Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays
- Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) protection