Humans need and love the sun, however, skin cancer continues to be a growing threat. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. It accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the United States. More than 2 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are found in this country each year. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, will account for about 68,130 cases of skin cancer in 2010.
Even though skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, it is also the most preventable of all cancers. By observing the following suggestions from the American Academy of Dermatology, the risk of skin cancer can be reduced:
- Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 25.
- Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours when outdoors, even on cloudy days.
- Wear protective, tightly woven clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt and pants.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with 99% to 100% UV absorption when outdoors.
- Stay in the shade whenever possible.
- Avoid reflective surfaces, which can reflect up to 85 percent of the sun's damaging rays.
- Protect children. Minimize sun exposure and apply sunscreen to children aged 6 months and older.
- No shadow..seek the shade! If your shadow is shorter than you are, you're likely to sunburn.
- Avoid tanning beds.
- Remember, the sun's rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Safe Sun tips from the American Academy of Dermatology, www.aad.org.