Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month - With the sheer amount of sun exposure we get here in Colorado, it’s very important to make sure you are always wearing your sunscreen! And here is why. Facts & Figures: According to the Skin Cancer Foundation:
- More than 5.4 million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer were treated in over 3.3 million people in the U.S. in 2012, the most recent year new statistics were available.
- More people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined.
- One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70
- Actinic keratosis is the most common pre cancer, affecting more than 58 million Americans.
- The annual cost of treating skin cancers in the U.S. is estimated at $8.1 billion: about $4.8 billion for nonmelanoma skin cancers and $3.3 billion for melanoma.
- Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM.
- Avoid getting a sunburn at all costs.
- Avoid tanning and UV tanning beds.
- Cover up with clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses.
- 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 (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
- Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Keep newborns out of the sun. Sunscreens should be used on babies over the age of six months.
- Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
- See your physician every year for a professional skin exam.
April showers, bring May flowers... and May sun exposure! May also happens to be Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month to help bring awareness to the dangers of of skin cancer and the affects it can have on your skin. Skin Cancer Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet radiation (UV rays) from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV rays can also come from tanning booths or sunlamps. The most dangerous kind of skin cancer is called melanoma. Warning Signs Warning signs of melanoma include moles, brown spots and growths on the skin are usually harmless — but not always. Anyone who has more than 100 moles is at greater risk for melanoma. The first signs can appear in one or more atypical moles. That's why it's so important to get to know your skin very well and to recognize any changes in the moles on your body. Look for signs of melanoma, and if you see one or more, make an appointment with a physician immediately. The good news? Skin cancer can almost always be cured when it’s found and treated early. But if it is not, the cancer can advance and spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes hard to treat and can be fatal. While it is not the most common of the skin cancers, it causes the most deaths. In 2016, an estimated 76,380 of these will be invasive melanomas, with about 46,870 in males and 29,510 in women.Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to prevent skin cancer or detect it early on. This month, spread the word about strategies for preventing skin cancer and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved. And talk to your doctor about your skin cancer risks.