May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and a good time to learn about skin cancer and to understand just how serious this condition is. Each year over 5 million cases are diagnosed in the United States alone. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. There are different types of skin cancer:
With summer just around the corner, you may find yourself spending more time outside. One thing to do before leaving your house each day, not just during the summer months, is to apply sunblock. Sunscreen is extremely important in protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. It also aids in helping your skin from premature skin aging such as age spots and wrinkles. Also, seeing a dermatologist once a year can help in early detection of skin cancer. Prior to seeing a dermatologist, you can perform a self-exam and be prepared to show the doctor any unusual or changed moles or spots on your body.
Sunblock is one way to help protect your skin, but there are other ways such as wearing a hat, a long sleeve shirt and pants, sunglasses, and staying in the shade. It is also key to reapply sunblock throughout the day, especially if you are in the water. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun cause most skin cancers. The UV rays are the strongest between 10 am to 4 pm, so during those hours, you want to make sure you protect yourself.
By taking precautions, you are helping protect yourself and your family from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Make it a point to learn about skin cancer and how to help prevent it – this will allow you to go outside and enjoy the fresh air safely!