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May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

There are two types of Skin Cancer:

1. Non-melanoma - Basal Cell Carcinoma (most common) & Squamous Cell Carcinoma
2. Melanoma - (Fatal if left untreated)

Read on to find out what you can do to avoid Skin Cancer!

Risk Factors
Fair Skin - burns and freckles easily, especially in those with blue/green eyes and blond/red hair.
High Exposure to the Sun - those who work in the sun or spend lots of recreation
time in the sun.
Severe Sunburn - suffered as a youth (under the age of 20).
Family History - increase the risk of developing melanoma
Large Quantity of Moles - (50 or more) or atypical moles
Risk Increases with Age
Intense Year-Round Sunshine
Limit Childhood Exposure to the Sun
One severe childhood or adolescent sunburn double
your chances of getting skin cancer.
80% of sun damage occurs before age 18.
Protect your kids!

Slip on a Shirt!
Protect your skin with clothing

Slop on Sunscreen!
Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF)
of 15 or higher

Slap on a Hat!
Wear a hat with a wide brim.
Your ears, neck and face get a lot of sun.

Avoid Sun Tanning Beds
Tanning booths are designed to produce much greater amounts of ultraviolet radiation in a given time than the sun, posing both short and long term-risks to the skin. This allows a person to get a tan with much less exposure time than is necessary with sunlight. It also means that you must keep accurate track of your time in the tanning booth, because extra minutes can result in ‘sunburn’ and skin damage.

Tanning beds and booths have the same cancer-causing UV radiation as the sun, and in many instances is up to 10 times as damaging as the sun itself.

Journal of the National Cancer Institute found people who use tanning devices were 1.5 to 2.5 times more likely to have common kinds of skin cancer than people who did not use the devices. However, the risk is far greater for kids (before age 20):

- 3.6 times greater to squamous cell cancer
- 1.8 times greater for basal cell cancer

We should treat sun tanning devices with adolescents the same as we do other carcinogenic exposures such as tobacco.

The American Medical Association (AMA) and American Academy of Dermatology have been calling for a ban of the sale and use of suntan parlor equipment for non-medical purposes. Dermatologists have urged the FDA to take action to discourage use of suntan beds.

According to the Report on Carcinogens, Ninth Edition of the FDA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourage avoidance of sunlamps and sun beds.

Reducing Your Risks
Avoid direct sun exposure, especially between 10 am and 4 pm.
Wear protective clothing
Apply sunscreen rated SPF 15 or higher. Reapply after swimming.
Avoid indoor sunlamps or tanning beds.

Self-Examination for Skin Cancer
Nearly all skin cancers can be prevented by limiting unprotected exposure to the sun and can be cured if detected early.

Know your skin and your pattern of moles, birthmarks and freckles. Use a full-length mirror or hand mirror to examine your skin after you shower or bathe.

1. Examine body front and back in mirror, then right and left sides, arms raised.
2. Bend elbows. Look carefully at forearms, back of upper arms, and palms.
3. Next, look at backs of legs and feet, spaces between toes, and soles.
4. Examine back of neck and scalp with a hand mirror. Part hair to lift.
5. Finally, check back and buttocks with a hand mirror.

Report Any Changes to Your Dermatologist Without Delay!

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