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May Is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. More than 3.5 million skin cancers are found in over 2 million people diagnosed annually. In addition to sun exposure, 2.3 million teens practice indoor tanning, another skin cancer risk.

Skin cancer screenings to take steps for skin cancer prevention are so important. While early detection results in an estimated 99% survival rate in skin cancers, a small lesion in 20 year old is likely to be ignored for years before becoming symptomatic and life-threatening.

It is important to get regular skin cancer screenings if you notice any spots or moles that are raised, irregular, tender, or changing in shape or size.

There are several preventative measures to take to protect yourself from skin cancer.

  • Try to limit your exposure to ultraviolet rays to reduce your risk, especially between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm when the sun is the strongest.
  • Try to sit under an umbrella or shaded area, especially during the summer months when the sun is the hottest.
  • Wear a wide-brim hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes from UV rays.
  • Always apply sunscreen with at least factor 30 before leaving the house and reapply throughout the day if outdoors.
  • Never use a sunbed that uses a higher concentrated source of UV radiation, linked to health risks such as skin cancer and premature aging.

Learn how to detect skin cancer early with a skin self-examination.