Skin Cancer Awareness Month seeks to spread the facts you need to know.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month—a time when the weather is getting warmer, pools are opening, the sun is shining, and more than likely you’re spending more time outside! But are you prepared to protect your skin … and your life?
Did You Know?
• Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than two million people are diagnosed annually.
• Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.
• Treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancers increased by nearly 77 percent between 1992 and 2006.
• Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined.
• One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
• Five percent of all cancers in men are melanomas; four percent of all cancers in women are melanomas.2
• Up until age 40, significantly more women develop melanoma than men (1 in 391 women vs. 1 in 691 men). After age 40, significantly more men develop melanoma than women. Overall, one in 35 men and one in 54 women will develop melanoma in their lifetimes.
So, Now What?
Did you know that anytime you are in the sun you should wear at least SPF 15? This is just one of the many guidelines offered by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Here are more you should follow to avoid a life-threatening or life-altering form of skin cancer:
1. Seek the shade whenever possible, especially from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2. Avoid tanning in tanning booths.
3. Do not burn.
4. Cover up with clothing, wide-brimmed hats, etc.
5. Use a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad- spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
6. Apply 1 ounce of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming.
7. Keep newborns out of the sun.
8. Examine your skin—head-to-toe every month.,
9. See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.
Facts and guidelines from the Skin Cancer Foundation website, skincancer.org