With 3.5 million cases in over two million people diagnosed annually, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Fortunately, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and we would like to take this opportunity to recommend the following prevention guidelines:
- Seek the shade, especially between 10 AM and 4 PM when the sun is strongest.
- Do not burn. A person’s risk for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, doubles if he or she had had five or more sunburns at any point in life. Severe burns not only significantly increase your chances of developing skin cancer, but can make you ill. For severe burns, see your doctor.
- Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths.
- 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.
- Apply 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outside.
- Keep newborns out of the sun since their skin is extremely vulnerable.
- Examine your skin head-to-toe every month. While self-exams shouldn’t replace the important annual skin exam performed by a dermatologist, they offer the best chance of detecting the early warning signs of skin cancer.
- Know your spots. If you notice anything changing, growing, or bleeding on your skin, see a dermatologist. Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early.
Worried about a spot? Contact Dr. Zimmet’s office at contact us at (512) 485-7700.