Protect Yourself from Melanoma aka Skin Cancer

June 21, 2015 / Michael M. Siegel, MD

skin-cancer-article

Are you planning to soak in some sun this summer? If so, be sure to protect yourself with sunscreen. Ultraviolet rays from the sun may damage your skin and are linked to an increased skin cancer risk.

According to the CDC, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Melanoma is the most severe form of skin cancer that you can get by overexposure to the sun or overuse of indoor tanning beds. Whether you go to the beach to tan or go for a run at the park, you put yourself at risk with exposure from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Aging, wrinkled skin and sunburns are a few damages that may occur from the sun’s rays.

Here are some tips to protect yourself from the adverse effects of the sun:

  • Wear a hat, sunglasses, or clothing that will cover your skin
  • Reduce or eliminate the use of indoor tanning beds
  • Apply sunscreens with SPF 30 or 50
  • Find shade when you are outside

Now, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one person dies every 57 minutes from melanoma, totaling an estimated 9,940 people every year. Additionally, 1 in 50 will be diagnosed with melanoma during their lifetime. Dr. Lisa Richardson, director of the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, said in a recent statement, “the rate of people getting melanoma continues to increase every year compared to the rates of most other cancers, which are declining.” With the rate of melanoma continually rising, it is important to understand how to protect your skin and reduce the risk of skin cancer.

For more information, visit the CDC or Skin Cancer Foundation websites.

Category: Physical Health