Skin cancer has become the most common form of cancer in the United States, as stated by the American Cancer Society (ACS). It is also the most preventable form of cancer. Sturdy Memorial Hospital’s Cancer Care physicians recommend practicing safe-sun habits:
“Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher every day to all exposed skin, even in the winter,” says Dr. Olympia Kovich, board certified dermatologist. “For prolonged outdoor activity or a day at the beach, use a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.” The term “broad-spectrum” means the sunscreen provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply roughly every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
Wear protective clothing such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and UV-protection sunglasses, where possible.
Seek shade when available, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
Use extra caution near water, sand, and snow, because they reflect and intensify the rays of the sun, which can increase your chances of sunburn and skin damage.
Avoid tanning booths and beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and indoor tanning can cause skin cancer and wrinkling.
Perform regular self skin examinations. If you notice anything changing, growing, or bleeding on your skin, see a dermatologist.
For more information about skin cancer prevention, screening, and treatment, visit the Sturdy Memorial Hospital website at www.sturdymemorial.org/serv_skincancercare.html.