Body & Mind

Skin Cancer Awareness and Methods of Prevention

By: Emily Thompson

With Summer approaching, we all need to make sure to protect ourselves from the risks of too much fun in the sun. Skin cancer is an uncontrollable, rapid mutation and formation of malignant (cancer) cells among skin cells (CDC). According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), skin cancer is the most common cancer type in the United States and is often contracted from too much time spent in the sun (UV exposure). Statistically, one in five Americans is expected to have contracted skin cancer at one point in their lifetime.

Methods of Prevention

While skin cancer is becoming more common among US citizens, there are many different means of prevention to lessen the risk for you and your family and still enjoy the sun this summer.

The Mayo Clinic Health System, a top-ranked quality healthcare system, highlights the five simple ways you can protect yourself and your family from skin cancer:

1. Avoidance. Avoiding the sun between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM (the sun’s hour of peak strength) will lessen your risk of contracting skin cancer by ensuring that your skin is not in direct contact with ultraviolet radiation.

2. Sunscreen. Everyone should wear sunscreen of at least 30 SPF all over their bodies, especially in the summer. Make sure to reapply every two hours and possibly even more frequently when sweating or swimming/water activities.

3. Clothing. Another means of protection is to wear clothes that contain SPF of 50 or higher, and hats with wide brims.

4. Avoid Tanning Beds. Tanning beds are another source of ultraviolet radiation, so avoiding them all together would decrease your chances of contracting skin cancer.

5. Self-check. If you notice any differences in you or your family’s skin, contact your doctor immediately to have it looked at.

Make sure to proceed with caution when enjoying some time in the sun with your family this summer; hopefully, these methods of prevention help you to prevent the negative ramifications that come with too much time spent outside.

For more information on skin cancer and methods of prevention, check out these articles: event-skin-cancer