The best defense against developing skin cancer of any type is prevention and early detection.
Simple ways to protect your skin:
Avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the peak hours of harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Use SPF 15 or higher sunscreens everyday.
Wear protective clothing, long sleeved shirts, long pants, brimmed hats, and sunglasses when outside.
Avoid tanning booths.
Examine your skin every three months.
Learn the changes in a mole or skin growths that are warning signs of melanoma.
Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers. Most skin cancers are basal cell or squamous cell cancers. These non-melanoma skin cancers do not spread easily, are less threatening and are seldom fatal. But melanoma, which is far more serious, accounts for about 5% of all diagnosed skin cancers. Like many cancers, if detected early, melanoma can almost always be cured.
What you should know about skin cancer:
More than a million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year.
One in five Americans will get skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
More than half of all new cancers are skin cancer.
One in four persons who develop skin cancer is under the age of 40.
One person dies every hour from melanoma.
Skin cancer risk factors:
Fair complexion that burns or freckles easily
Family or personal history of melanoma
High levels of exposure to UV radiation, strong sunlight, sunlamps or tanning booths.
One or more severe blistering sunburns before age 20